THE LEVANT – Yemen’s President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi said on Saturday that his government was ready to negotiate with Al-Qaeda, provided that the militant organization gets foreign nationals fighting within its ranks outside Yemen.
“We are ready to negotiate with Al-Qaeda in case it gets foreign nationals fighting within its ranks out of Yemen,” Hadi said during a meeting that was attended by members of the Yemeni cabinet, lawmakers, political party leaders and army generals.
He said his government cannot conduct negotiations with foreigners who attended from countries, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan, to fight in Yemen.
In April, the official Yemeni news agency quoted Hadi as saying that around 70 percent of the members of Al-Qaeda in Yemen were foreign nationals.
He snubbed calls for negotiating with Al-Qaeda then, saying his government cannot negotiate with an organization 70 percent of whose members are non-Yemenis.
He invited Yemenis to visit morgues to check the remains of Al-Qaeda operatives who were killed by the Yemeni army, saying the countries of these operatives had refused to receive their remains after their death in Yemen.
The Yemeni President said killed within the ranks of Al-Qaeda in Yemen were operatives from Brazil, Australia, the Netherlands and France.
The Yemeni army has been battling Al-Qaeda in the southern provinces of the country since April.