Gulf FMs to discuss Yemen as govt declares disaster zones
Gulf foreign ministers will meet this week with focus on Yemen to cover “issues vital to the operations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)"
Gulf foreign ministers will meet this week with focus on Yemen, Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdullatif Zayani said Monday.
Thursday’s meeting in Riyadh would cover “issues vital to the operations of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and developments in the region, including the crisis in Yemen,” said Zayani.
It comes ahead of a leaders’ summit on May 5. Meanwhile, Yemen’s government of President Abdrrabbu Mansour Hadi on Monday declared three areas in the country as “disaster” zones, including the southern port city of Aden.
The government raised the alarm for Aden as well as the cities of Taiz and Dhale, saying there is no electricity or water there and that these cities have run out of fuel, medical and food supplies. “These cities are on verge of collapse,” said Minister of Communications Nadia Saqqaf.
The three cities have also been the aim of a pressing offensive by the Houthis and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Another minister, Ezz Eddin Al-Asbahi, said the Houthis and Saleh’s forces are turning hospitals, clinics and schools into weapons caches.
Al-Asbahi, who is the human rights minister, said nine million Yemenis are in need of some form of medical intervention.
The Houthis have imposed a siege of Aden, cutting of fuel supplies, leaving large parts of the city in darkness.
And because there is no fuel, hospital generators cannot work, Al-Asbahi added. A coalition of Arab states vowed to coordinate political and military efforts to restore order in Yemen.
Sheikh Muhammad Bin Zayed Al-Nahayan, the Abu Dhabi crown prince and Armed Forces chief of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), said the coalition is now working on military and political fronts to reestablish the legitimate authority in Sanaa.
The campaign’s new phase is based on a “multilayered strategy, including military, as well as politics and development, to reestablish the legitimacy,” he said on a visit to his troops in Saudi Arabia taking part in the coalition. — Agencies
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on April 28, 2015.