Yemen's Hadi looks to Gulf to end impasse

Yemen's Hadi looks to Gulf to end impasse
GCC nations and Yemen's president Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi are pushing for a dialogue conference in Saudi Arabia's capital to unify opposition to the Houthi movement and bring about a solution to the country's crisis.
3 min read
09 March, 2015
Yemenis hold Anti-Houthi demonstration in Ta'izz, Feb 2015. [Anadolu]

Saudi Arabia's royal court announced yesterday that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) would welcome a dialogue meeting between different Yemeni political factions in Riyadh.

The meeting's aim, according to the statement, would be to "bring Yemen out of its dilemma and into safety, and to ensure things go back to normal".

This comes after Yemeni president, Abd-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, sent a letter to Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz, dated 7 March, in which the Yemeni ruler stated his government's intentions to run the country from the southern city of Aden.

"You [Saudi king]  may have been observing the sensitive and critical conditions experienced by your brothers in Yemen due to the Houthi coup on constitutional legitimacy. The Houthis forced us out of Sanaa and into Aden, which is favoured with better conditions that enable us to coordinate the running of the country in such difficult and critical times," the statement printed in Saudi Arabia's official news agency read.

"By this token, we appeal to our brothers in the GCC to continue their constructive role by holding a conference to be attended by all Yemeni political parties who wish to preserve the security and stability of Yemen, under the support of the council, in Riyadh."

The Yemeni president said that the dialogue conference would aim at preserving the security and stability of Yemen, while at the same time following the framework of "[constitutional] legitimacy".

The Houthi takeover of Yemen's capital Sanaa in September 2014, and seizure of government institutions in January 2015, has been widely described as a "coup", by political opponents, and many outside powers.

"[We refuse] to have any dealings with the so called Constitutional Declaration [Houthi government announcement following its takeover] or recognise its legitimacy, and demand the return of all arms and military equipment to the official authorities, and re-instating the official authorities to rule over all Yemeni territories."

The conference, according to Hadi's letter, would aim at bringing Yemen back to normality and allow for the political process to resume.

This, Hadi says, would be possible through a GCC initiative, "the council's executive mechanisms and the outcomes of national dialogue and through ensuring that Yemen does not become a hotbed for terrorist organisations and extremists".

Saudi Arabia's royal court welcomed the request, and said  Riyadh would continue to support Hadi and "the people of Yemen", particularly as "the fate of the Yemen and the security of the Gulf are interlinked".

"The GCC welcomes and supports the request by Yemen's president to hold a conference in Riyadh under the council's umbrella. The secretariat of the council will make all the necessary arrangements," the statement added.

No date has yet been set for this conference, and it is not clear which parties would take part in the meeting.

This article is an edited translation from our Arabic edition.

Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of al-Araby al-Jadeed, its editorial board or staff.