ID :
Wed, 04/20/2011 - 10:25
Auther :

UNSC fully supports GCC mediation efforts to end Yemeni crisis

Politics 4/20/2011 9:13:00 AM

UNITED NATIONS, April 20 (KUNA) -- Most Security Council members late Tuesday expressed "full support" for the ongoing mediation efforts by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to end the crisis in Yemen.
However, the UN body failed to issue a press statement on this and other aspects of the "sensitive" issue, because some members wanted to seek further guidance and instructions, diplomats said.
The Council members heard a briefing, late on Tuesday, from Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe and UN Special Envoy for Yemen Jamal Ben Omar on the situation in Yemen. It was the first time the Council was seized of the matter since protests erupted in Yemen three months ago seeking to oust President Ali Abdallah Salah.
The meeting came as Yemeni security forces fired on anti-government protesters on Tuesday, killing three and wounding several others in Sana'a and Taiz.
A press statement circulated by Lebanon and Germany would have the Council members "express their full support to the mediating role of the Gulf Cooperation Council, express their concern at the political crisis in Yemen, call on the parties to exercise restraint and enter into a comprehensive dialogue to realize the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people." A British diplomat told reporters following the closed-door meeting that "the idea behind this meeting was that this could give a helpful piece of encouragement to the GCC process and the efforts underway to mediate. There was no disagreement with that, but because it was such a sensitive issue, there were some delegations which had some concerns about whether we should say anything at all." Diplomats said privately that Russia and China were opposed to the press statement. German Ambassador Peter Wittig told reporters that "it was the first time that the Council pondered about the situation in Yemen. It's a firs t. It's progress. We expressed concern about the situation in Yemen which is deteriorating. Most of us in the Council expressed explicitly support for the mediation efforts of the GCC which is meeting today and tomorrow (Wednesday)" in Abu Dhabi with Yemeni Government officials.
A Western diplomat also told reporters "there was no agreement on the draft statement," noting that "it was the first time that Yemen was on the agenda. Perhaps it was too early for the Council to agree on the elements proposed. Now, everybody will report back to his capital about this first round of consultations and then we will see whether there is room to agree on any kind of press statement." No Council meeting on this issue has been set for the rest of the week.
He insisted that the lack of agreement was not about the content of the press statement. "Those who were hesitant to agree were basically saying that the situation in Yemen is very complex and that it would need careful considerat ion," he added. US Ambassador Susan Rice said the Council heard a briefing from Ben Omar who expressed "concern about the situation as it relates to security and stability in Yemen, but also to the wider region and international peace and security." Many Council members, she noted, "stressed the importance of an end to violence and a political process that revolves swiftly in a credible transition. We also expressed support for the facilitation effort of the GCC." In a related matter, Philippe Bolopion, UN Director of Human Rights Watch said in a statement that "Yemen's brutal repression of opposition activists over the last few weeks finally landed on the radar of the Security Council, which clearly sees the issue as a threat to international peace and security." "The Council should now take it a step further and convey with one voice to President Saleh and his entourage that further killings and abuse of peaceful protesters will not be tolerated," he added.