Friday, April 17, 2015

Gulf states unhappy about U.N. chief's ceasefire appeal

    Friday, April 17, 2015   No comments

Several Gulf Arab states are unhappy about U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon's call for an immediate ceasefire by all sides in Yemen and are expected to raise the issue in a meeting with him early next week, U.N. diplomatic sources said on Friday.

Ban on Thursday called for an immediate halt to the fighting, the first time he has made such an appeal since Saudi-led air strikes against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels began three weeks ago.

The main topic of the meeting will be the replacement for the outgoing U.N. envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar, who announced his resignation on Wednesday. But, the sources said, they are also expected to raise their concerns about the appeal Ban made in a speech at the National Press Club.

The U.N. chief said the Saudis "have assured me that they understand that there must be a political process. I call on all Yemenis to participate in good faith." He gave no indication that they supported his appeal to end military attacks.

"Gulf states are not happy about the speech and expect to make that point with the SG (Ban) in the meeting," one of the diplomatic sources said on condition of anonymity.

Benomar, a veteran Moroccan diplomat, had irked Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations with his handling of so-far unsuccessful peace talks between the Houthis and the Western- and Gulf Arab-backed Yemeni government, Western U.N. diplomats said on condition of anonymity.



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