Thursday, October 13, 2011

Yemen urges UN to avoid resolution against president

Oct 13, 2011- AFP

SANAA — The Yemeni government has urged the UN Security Council to avoid a resolution targeting embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh, calling on it instead to back a political solution for the country's crisis.

"The government of Yemen that follows closely the discussions over the situation in Yemen at the Security Council, stresses that the solution for the crisis does not come through issuing resolutions," said an unnamed government official quoted overnight Wednesday by Saba state news agency.

An exit from the crisis after months of protests would be reached "through a political solution, and implementing the Gulf initiative that the ruling party endorsed, presenting a comprehensive mechanism to implement it," he added.

Protesters demanding the ouster of Saleh are hoping to see decisive action by the UN Security Council forcing the president to quit. The Security Council began discussions of the situation in Yemen on Tuesday.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has proposed a peace plan under which Saleh would hand power to a transitional administration. But the veteran leader, who has ruled for 33 years, has refused to sign the deal.

Britain and other European nations are drawing up a draft UN resolution which could be presented to the Security Council in the coming days.

The Security Council agreed a statement last month which stressed the GCC peace initiative. A resolution would have greater diplomatic weight to pressure Saleh.

According to a letter from Yemen's youth movement to the United Nations earlier this month at least 861 people have been killed and 25,000 wounded since mass protests against Saleh erupted in late January.

The youth group, organisers of an anti-regime sit-in at the capital's Change Square since February, have come under repeated attack by pro-Saleh forces but have so far refused to leave.

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