Saudi envoy: U.N. may vote soon on Yemen

Anti-Houthi protesters hold posters of Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud during a demonstration to show support for Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen, in the country's southwestern city of Taiz. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia's U.N. ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said Friday a vote on a draft United Nations resolution regarding the conflict in Yemen is likely take place early next week, according to the Associated Press.

The debate of the resolution is taking place as fighting escalates between the Houthis and supporters of Yemen’s beleaguered president, and airstrikes by a Saudi-led Sunni coalition, threaten to push Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, into collapse.

“In principle, I think we are close to an agreement,” Al-Mouallimi said. “I think it’s a matter of wording, a matter of finding the right phrases.”

The draft is aimed at ending the Houthis’ attempt to take over the strategic Mideast country.

The draft would impose an asset freeze and travel ban on Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi and the ex-president’s eldest son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The council imposed the same sanctions on former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the rebel group’s military commander Abd al-Khaliq al-Huthi and the Houthi’s second-in-command Abdullah Yahya al Hakim last November.

The Jordanian draft would also impose an arms embargo on all five men and call on all countries, especially Yemen’s neighbors, to inspect cargo headed to Yemen if there are “reasonable grounds” to believe it contains weapons.

The draft also demands that all Yemeni parties, especially the Houthis, end the violence.

It demands that the Houthis withdraw from areas they have seized, including the capital Sanaa, and relinquish all arms and missiles seized from military and security institutions.

Russia’s reluctance

Meanwhile, Al-Mouallimi said that Russia still wants changes to the text that Jordan had put in a final form for a vote.

Russia has insisted on an arms embargo on all parties to the escalating conflict.

Al-Mouallimi said Russia also wants other changes to the language on sanctions and on the cessation of violence and it wants inclusion of its call for “humanitarian pauses.”

Russia is also objecting the asset freeze and travel ban on Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

Also on Friday, Jordan, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, held separate meetings with the five veto-wielding council members, including Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, trying to ensure adoption of the resolution.

 [With AP]

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44