GCC hails U.N. embargo on Yemen’s Houthis

Secretary-General of the Gulf bloc, Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani, lauded the stance taken by the Security Council

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The Gulf Cooperation Council has welcomed a U.N. Security Council resolution imposing an arms embargo against Yemen’s Houthi militias and blacklisting the country’s deposed president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In a statement, the Secretary-General of the Gulf bloc, Dr. Abdullatif Al-Zayani, said: "The GCC values with great appreciation and pride the stance taken by members of the Security Council, which reflects the seriousness of the international community in its support of the Yemeni people and their legitimate right to achieve their aspirations in a safe, stable and prosperous nation."

On Tuesday, Resolution 2216 was passed under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter and imposes sanctions against the leader of the Houthi movement along with Saleh.

It was unanimously adopted by the session, with Russia being the only member abstaining – without using its veto - citing that some of the proposals it had suggested did not make it to the text, Reuters news agency reported

As the resolution was passed under Chapter 7 of the Charter, the Houthis are expected to immediately cease their acts and adhere to the text, Qatar’s ambassador to the Council Sheikha Alya Bint Ahmed Bin Saif Al-Thani said.

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the U.N., Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, lauded the resolution as a “victory for the Yemeni people,” adding that the text confirmed that the Houthi’s acts in Yemen are unacceptable.

As to the possibility of deploying ground troops into Yemen, Mouallimi said that is a decision best left to the military command.

Separately, Iran on Monday urged the formation of a new Yemeni government and offered to assist in a political transition.

The Council imposed a global asset freeze and travel ban on Ahmed Saleh, the former head of Yemen’s elite Republican Guard, and on Abdulmalik al-Houthi, a top leader of the Houthi group.

Two other senior Houthi leaders, Abd al-Khaliq al-Houthi and Abdullah Yahya al Hakim, were blacklisted by the Security Council in November. Yemeni soldiers loyal to the former president are fighting alongside the Houthis.

The resolution imposed an arms embargo on the five men and “those acting on their behalf or at their direction in Yemen” - effectively the Houthi and soldiers loyal to Saleh.

It demands the Houthis stop fighting and withdraw from areas they have seized, including Sanaa, the capital. It also expressed concern at “destabilizing actions” taken by former President Saleh, “including supporting the Houthis’ actions.”

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