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AP Interview: Yemen's rebels say they won't give up port

SANAA, Yemen — A senior Houthi rebel leader in Yemen says his group will not give up the key port city of Hodeida, the focus of months of U.N.-brokered talks with the Saudi-backed government.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, the head of the so-called Supreme Revolutionary Committees, accused his rivals from the internationally-recognized government of misinterpreting the deal. He says the Houthis have agreed to withdraw their forces but will remain in control.

He says the government “couldn’t get (the port) by force and they won’t seize it by tricks.”

Hodeida is the main entry point for humanitarian aid to Yemen, where nearly four years of war has spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths said Tuesday “significant progress” has been made on the withdrawal of forces from Hodeida.

Ahmed Al-Haj, The Associated Press