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UNSC supports upcoming Yemen Nat''l Dialogue Conf., warns spoilers

UNITED NATIONS, Feb 15 (KUNA) -- After days of wrangling and redrafting to allay Russia's concerns, the Security Council on Friday welcomed Yemeni President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi's announcement of the launch of the National Dialogue Conference on March 18, and threatened the spoilers of the political transition process, mainly his predecessor Ali Abdallah Salah, with sanctions.
Council President Kim Sook of the Republic of Korea emphasized in a presidential statement he read out in a Council open meeting the need for the 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 the full and effective participation of youth and women." Commending those who have engaged constructively in the preparatory stages of the process and welcoming the decree on the formation of the Executive Bureau for the Mutual Accountability Framework, the Council 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 human rights.
Expressing its expectation that the National Dialogue Conference will lead to a constitutional referendum and elections by February 2014, the Council called on all parties to honour the timetable and benchmarks set out in the transition agreement and on all sides to act in "good faith, in a peaceful, transparent, constructive, and reconciliatory manner." Concerned over reports by individuals who do not adhere to the guiding principles of the transition process, including former President Saleh and former Vice President Ali Salim Al-Beidh, the Council urged all the parties in Yemen to resolve their differences through dialogue and consultation, reject acts of violence to achieve political goals, refrain from provocations, and fully abide by relevant Council resolutions.
Reaffirming its commitment to the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen, the Council reiterated its readiness to also consider "further measures," including sanctions under Article 41 of the UN Charter if these spoilers continue to undermine the Government of National Unity and the political transition.
In this connection, the Council expressed "concern over reports of money and weapons being brought into Yemen from outside for the purpose of undermining the transition," in an indirect reference to Iran's alleged transfer of weapons destined to the Houthies in the north or the separatists in the south of Yemen.
This reference to money and weapons is now in a separate paragraph after Russia objected to linking it to Saleh. The original paragraph rejected by Russia read "The Security Council notes, in particular, persistent allegations against Ali Abdullah Saleh, Ali Salim Al-Beidh, and certain individuals and groups that receive money and weapons from outside of Yemen for the purpose of undermining the transition." Welcoming Sanaa's commitment to end the recruitment and use of children by the Yemeni security forces, the Council urged the Yemeni Government to pass legislation on transitional justice to support reconciliation without further delay and to respect the rule of law and protect human rights, in accordance with Yemen's international legal obligations, particularly those of women and children.
Underscoring the need for continued international support for Yemen's political transition, including through the fulfilment of the USD eight billion commitment made by donors to support Yemen, the Council vowed to remain closely engaged on the situation in Yemen and to continue to closely follow the next steps towards a peaceful political transition.
It finally welcomed the continued and coordinated efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Secretary General's Good Offices, including through his Special Adviser Jamal Benomar, the wider diplomatic community, and the next meeting of the Friends of Yemen scheduled to take place in London on March 7th.
A Council mission visited Yemen on January 27 and today's statement is meant to demonstrate the Council's firm commitment to remain closely engaged with the political transition process in the country and to apply pressure on the spoilers of that process. (more) sj.bs KUNA 152322 Feb 13NNNN