SANAA, Nov. 10 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni Foreign Minister Tuesday summoned Eritrean ambassador to Yemen following alleged tips that Eritrea provides weapons to anti-government rebels in Yemen, a diplomat at the Yemeni Foreign Ministry said.
"The Ministry got evidence and valuable information that Eritrea facilitates conveying weapons through its coastlines -- provided from a foreign country -- to the Zaidi rebels in northern Yemen," the diplomat told Xinhua by phone on condition of anonymity.
He said coastguards of Yemen often intercepted boats full of concealed weapons sailing from an Eritrean coastal city to Medi port adjacent to bastions of Zaidi rebels, named Houthis after their slain leader's clan.
"Rebels go to Eritrea as Yemeni fishermen in disguise to avoid being intercepted by the Yemeni coast guards, and come back with their boat full of concealed weapons," said the diplomat, adding "at night they docked at Medi and unloaded the weapons to vehicles awaited at some specific places."
The diplomat hinted at the possibility of using Eritrean soil as a base by Iran, but providing no further details.
Sanaa has often said that Iran is backing Shiite rebels in Yemen, an accusation which Iran has always denied.
Eritrea is situated in the Horn of Africa, off Yemeni northern coastline and Saudi city of Jizan on the Red Sea, where high-level skirmishes between Yemeni rebels and Saudi military forces have erupted after anti-government rebels crossed into the Saudi soil of Jizan.