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Daily Israel Report

GCC Pressing for Quick Yemen Resolution

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council says it is putting its full weight behind a resolution to Yemen's political crisis.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 6/15/2011, 7:17 PM / Last Update: 6/15/2011, 10:36 PM

 

Gulf states will press for an end to the ongoing political crisis in impoverished Yemen, UAE foreign minister Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said Tuesday.

"The unstable situation in Yemen is top of our agenda," Al Nahyan told a foreign ministers' meeting of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Saudi Red Sea city of Jeddah.

"We have made huge efforts to reconcile the opposing points of view and our efforts are certainly going to continue without let-up," Shaikh Abdullah said.

Unrest in Yemen coupled with increased Al Qaeda aggression has so far seen hundreds of people killed in five months of protests.

Gulf ministers have found themselves under huge pressure from opponents of veteran Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to back an interim council to oversee a transition from his 33-year rule.

Saleh previously agreed to and then rejected a GCC brokered deal that would see him leave power in the hands of an interim governing council, leading to criticism that the international community was being played by the Yemeni president.

Saleh is currently being treated in a Saudi hospital for blast wounds he sustained in a bomb attack inside the presidential palace in Sana'a.

The attack that wounded him came as the long months of protests against his rule degenerated into street fighting in the capital between loyalist troops and dissident tribesmen.

Saleh told King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia Tuesday that his health was "constantly improving," Yemen's official Saba news agency said. For his part, King Abdullah reiterated Saudi Arabia's support for a "united, secure and stable Yemen," Saba added.

Yemeni opposition activists have called on the Gulf ministers to "stand with the will of the people in forming a transitional council that would achieve the aims of the revolution."

Saudi officials have already promised Saleh will be allowed to return to Yemen when he is sufficiently recovered.