GCC warns Houthi ‘coup’ in Yemen poses regional risk

GCC urges international community to step up efforts to end crisis

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Member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) denounced on Saturday the seizure of power in Yemen by the Shiite Houthi rebel group in the capital, Sanaa, Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

The GCC also accused the Houthi rebels of thwarting the peaceful political settlement to end the crisis in that Arab country.

It described the Houthi rebel constitutional declaration as a blow to the peace process and said the “coup” would plunge the country into a “dark tunnel.”

It also linked the security situation in Yemen to that of the region and said the GCC would take all the necessary steps to protect its interests.

The Gulf countries also urged the international community to step up its efforts to resolve the crisis and for the United Nations Security Council to implement relevant resolutions.

Houthi leader defends takeover

Meanwhile, Shiite militia chief Abdel Malek al-Houthi on Saturday defended the formation of a “presidential council” which consolidates his power as serving the interests of all Yemenis and their Gulf neighbors.

“This historic and responsible initiative is in the interest of the country... because it fills a political vacuum,” he said in a televised address to his supporters gathered in a northern Sanaa stadium.

He said it was “in the interest of all Yemenis without exception,” including the separatists of southern Yemen.

The formation of the council, announced on Friday and which he leads, would also head off the threat from Al-Qaeda which has a strong presence in east and south Yemen, Huthi said.

“If Al-Qaeda takes control of the country, it will plot against our brothers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf,” he warned.

(With AFP)

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