Yemeni official: President will not attend peace talks
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemeni government spokesman Rageh Badi says embattled Yemeni president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi will not attend upcoming peace talks in Geneva.
The announcement is a blow to the talks, which are aimed ending weeks of Saudi-led airstrikes against an Iran-supported rebel group amid a growing humanitarian crisis that has left millions short of food and fuel.
Badi says Hadi will not attend due to the security situation and because Shiite Houthi rebels have not satisfied a government pre-condition to pull out of towns and cities they occupy - including the capital, Sanaa.
The leader of the Houthi rebels, Abdul-Malek al-Houthi, has called the talks the "only solution" for the conflict
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Iranian state television is reporting that authorities in Djibouti have turned away aid plane for Yemeni refugees there.
The report said the plane returned safely Saturday to Iran and that authorities hoped to make arrangements to allow the plane to land in the small African nation now hosting thousands of Yemenis who fled fighting in their country.
The television report claimed Saudi Arabia pressured Djibouti into not allowing the plane to land. The report did not elaborate and Saudi state media made no immediate mention of the plane. Authorities in Djibouti could not be immediately reached for comment.
A Saudi-led coalition is targeting Shiite rebels in Yemen known as Houthis. Saudi Arabia and the West accuse Iran of supporting the Houthis militarily, something Tehran and the rebels both deny.