Yemen’s president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has expressed readiness to accept demands for constitutional change and powersharing with Houthi rebels who took up positions outside his home after defeating his guards in two days of battle.
Gulf neighbours denounced what they described as a coup in Yemen, although both the Houthis and some of the president’s allies denied he had been overthrown. A source close to the president said Hadi had met an official of the Shia Muslim rebel group, and denied the president was under house arrest inside the residence, surrounded since early morning by Houthi fighters. Hadi said the Shia Muslim group had a right to be appointed to posts in all state institutions, and a draft constitution that has been a source of disagreement between him and the Houthis was open to amendment.
He said the Houthis agreed to withdraw fighters from areas overlooking his palace, his home and the official residence of the prime minister, and had promised to free his chief of staff, whom they have held captive.