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Foreign minister says Yemen will not negotiate with Houthi rebels, who must lay down weapons

  • Arab League's Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, right, meets with Yemeni Foreign Minister Yassin Riad at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

    Arab League's Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, right, meets with Yemeni Foreign Minister Yassin Riad at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)  (The Associated Press)

  • Yemeni Foreign Minister Yassin Riad, center, arrives at the Arab League headquarters for talks with Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)

    Yemeni Foreign Minister Yassin Riad, center, arrives at the Arab League headquarters for talks with Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil)  (The Associated Press)

Yemen's foreign minister says his government is not negotiating with Shiite rebels who captured the capital, Sanaa, last September.

Riad Yassin tells reporters in Cairo on Thursday that the only solution is for the rebels, known as Houthis, to withdraw, surrender their weapons and give the government full control of Yemen.

Referring to reports of envoys meeting in the Gulf nation of Oman, Yassin says they were "consultations" between U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and the Houthis to convince them to withdraw.

He says: "That is the only solution that is on the table."

Houthi rebels and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh are fighting forces including southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and troops loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.