U.N. to resume tense crisis talks in Yemen

Mohammed Houthi, a top official in the Houthi group's military wing, attends a Houthi rally at the main stadium in Sanaa, February 7, 2015. (Reuters)

Negotiations aimed at resolving the crisis in Yemen are set to resume on Monday and will be brokered by the U.N. envoy to the country, Jamal Benomar, the United Nations said.

The Gulf Cooperation Council on Saturday accused Shiite Houthi rebels of staging a coup in Yemen.

“The Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon) welcomes the announcement that his Special Adviser on Yemen, Mr. Jamal Benomar, will be reconvening tomorrow the U.N.-facilitated negotiations in Yemen,” the U.N. press office said on Sunday in a statement.

It added that Ban “calls on all sides to negotiate in good faith and in the spirit of compromise.”

Yemen has been in political limbo since the president and prime minister resigned last month after the Houthis seized the presidential palace. On Friday, the movement dissolved parliament and said it would set up a new interim government.

Protestors gathered on Sunday against the Houthi rebels’ seizure of power there, as the United Nations called for the reinstatement of ex-president Hadi.

“The situation is very, very seriously deteriorating, with the Houthis taking power and making this government vacuum,” the U.N. secretary-general said.

“There must be restoration of legitimacy of President Hadi,” the U.N. chief told reporters after talks in neighboring Saudi Arabia.

The move by the Houthi rebels has been condemned both at the regional and international levels.

Gulf states expressed concern about the Iranian influence in Yemen and called for growing international role, a U.S. official said on Friday, hours after Houthis seized power.

But no arrangements were made to contact Tehran about the situation during talks between Kerry and ministers and senior officials from Arab Gulf states, senior State Department official said on Friday after meetings with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

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Last Update: 06:43 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43
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