UNITED NATIONS, Feb 14 (KUNA) -- The UN Security Council failed on Thursday
to issue a presidential statement that would have welcomed the launch of the
National Dialogue Conference in Yemen on 18 March which would lead to
elections by February 2014.
The Council President, the Republic of Korea, was to read the statement in
a Council open meeting today, but Russia, diplomats said, broke the silence
procedure, therefore the statement is now shelved since there was no consensus
to issue it.
Diplomats said Russia objected to a paragraph in the statement which would
have noted, "in particular, persistent allegations against (former Yemeni
President) Ali Abdullah Saleh," and others who receive "money and weapons from
outside of Yemen for the purpose of undermining the transition," in an
indirect reference to Iran.
Russia, diplomats added, also objected to another paragraph in the
statement which would have reiterated its "readiness to consider further
measures, including under Article 41 of the UN Charter, if actions aimed at
undermining the Government of National Unity and the political transition
A diplomat told KUNA that according to the UN, the "biggest challenge"
facing Yemen is former President Ali Abdullah Salah's continued presence in
Yemen where he has a "powerful" impact in the country and uses his own
fortune, estimated at USD 7 billion, to interfere in Yemeni current President
Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi's decisions and hamper his efforts towards the National
According to the diplomat, Hadi wrote a letter to the Council insisting
that Saleh's continued presence is an obstacle to peace and reconciliation in
the country, and urged the members to therefore adopt a resolution asking him
to leave the country.
He said that cannot be done, because Saleh remains a Yemeni citizen, adding
that while some members believe this would be an interference in Yemeni
internal affairs, others believe that the implementation of the Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative is more important.
He dismissed the idea that the Council impose sanctions on Saleh. The ideal
would be to discourage him from getting involved in the political life in the
country or just encourage him to leave the country for medical treatment or
According to the presidential statement blocked by Russia, the Council
would have also expressed concern over reports of interference in the
transition by "individuals" in Yemen representing the former regime and who do
not adhere to the guiding principles of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
It would have emphasised the need for the National Dialogue Conference to
be conducted in an inclusive manner involving the full participation of all
segments of Yemeni society, including representatives from the South and other
regions and called upon all parties to act in good faith.
It would have reiterated the need for the transitional period to be a
Yemeni-led process, underpinned by a commitment to democracy, good governance,
rule of law, national reconciliation and respect for the human rights and
fundamental freedoms of all people in Yemen.
It would have finally welcomed the GCC efforts in pursuing a peaceful
political transition in Yemen. (end)
KUNA 150029 Feb 13NNNN