Gulf states ask Yemen sides to Riyadh talks: Kuwait

ABU DHABI (Reuters) – Gulf Arab states have invited Yemeni government and opposition representatives to talks in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait’s foreign minister said Monday, in a bid to end the crisis after weeks of anti-government protest.

Sheikh Mohammad al-Salem al-Sabah told Reuters the offer was extended after a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, Sunday.

“After Riyadh, on the GCC level, we have decided to invite both the (Yemen) government and opposition representatives to Riyadh to resolve the impasse on some specific issues,” he said, declining to provide further details.

“The GCC is talking to both sides but no date has been set.”

Police and armed men in civilian clothes opened fire on anti-government demonstrators in the Yemeni cities of Taiz and Hudaida Monday, as a drive to end President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32-year rule gathered pace.

The Gulf Cooperation Council is a political and economic bloc made up of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.

The GCC ministers voiced concern Sunday over the “deterioration of the security situation and the division in Yemen” and called for a dialogue.

(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho and Amena Bakr; Writing by Amran Abocar; Editing by Louise Ireland)

Gulf states ask Yemen sides to Riyadh talks: Kuwait