Sana’a: Yemen’s dominant Al Houthi group on Monday released former Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and his cabinet ministers after nearly two months under house arrest, government spokesman Rajeh Badi said.

State news agency Saba reported that Bahah, whose government resigned in January after Al Houthis captured Yemen’s presidential palace, had left Sana’a. A source close to Bahah said he was on his way to Saudi Arabia and from there he would go on to New York where his family lives.

In a statement on his Facebook page, Bahah said the lifting of the house arrest was a goodwill gesture to ease talks on Yemen’s political transition. But he said he had no intention of resuming his post.

“This comes as an expression of sincere good intentions...(the government) confirms it does not desire to return to its duties in light of the exceptional circumstances,” he wrote.

Al Houthis invaded the capital Sana’a and fanned out across much of central Yemen in September in what they hailed as a revolution against misrule and corruption.

A power struggle with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi began when the militants laid siege to his residence and forced him, Bahah and the cabinet into house arrest in January.

Hadi has since escaped to the southern port city of Aden and reclaimed the presidency, setting up a rival administration there backed by Gulf neighbours, who have rejected the Al Houthi takeover as a coup. Defence Minister General Mahmoud Al Subaihi has also fled Sana’a to Aden.

United Nations-brokered talks have struggled to heal Yemen’s political rifts and head off the prospect of civil war, which the cabinet’s freedom may now ease.

“This opens the way for political factions to carry out their national responsibility to come up with an agreement which works to restore a transition,” Bahah said.

Al Houthi leader Abdul Malek Al Houthi said on Sunday the group was engaged in indirect talks with neighbour Saudi Arabia, in the first known dialogue between the Zaydi group and the regional powerhouse since Al Houthis’ takeover last year. Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s main benefactor, suspended aid soon after the takeover.