Yemen’s powerful ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a key ally of the country’s dominant Houthi movement, has asked the United Nations Security Council to allow him to travel to Cuba to pay respects to former president Fidel Castro, according to a statement by his party.

Saleh, a former counter-terrorism ally of the U.S., has forces fighting alongside Iran-allied Houthis against a Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen where war has killed at least 10,000 people.

The United Nations Security Council in 2014 imposed targeted sanctions on Saleh for threatening peace and obstructing Yemen’s political process that subject him to a global travel ban and asset freeze.

The request by Saleh, who was toppled by mass protests in 2011, would need to be accepted by the 15-member U.N. Security Council Yemen sanctions committee which makes decisions by consensus.

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