UpFront Exclusive: Saudi Arabia¹s Ambassador to the UN confirms Houthi presence in Saudi Arabia for Yemen talks

By Al Jazeera Africa PR

In an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera English’s current affairs show, UpFront, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United Nations, for the first time confirmed recent press reports that two Houthi representatives attended secret peace talks in the Kingdom earlier this month.

“There was a delegation from the Houthis in the kingdom,” Al-Mouallimi told “UpFront” host Mehdi Hasan, referring to the Yemeni group. “It resulted also in a reduction of tensions on the borders and in an exchange of prisoners."

His comments came as a spokesperson for the Saudi-led military coalition announced that major combat operations were coming to an end.

“We will continue to open our arms and our hearts to the possibility of dialogue with everybody,” added Al-Mouallimi.

However, the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations, also reiterated to UpFront that if the Yemeni government “ask us to continue the military campaign, of course we will.”

Ambassador Al-Mouallimi’s wide ranging interview with UpFront’s Mehdi Hasan covered the conflict in Yemen, Saudi support for Syrian rebel groups, the rise of ISIL and human rights in the Kingdom.

This UpFront interview with Abdallah Al-Mouallimi airs on Friday, 25 March 2016 at 19:30 GMT / 21:30 CAT, after which it will be available to watch and embed from YouTube. For more information visit http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/upfront/ or follow @ajupfront on Twitter.