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Russian diplomat sees no prospects for swift settlement of Yemeni crisis

February 08, 2016, 14:17 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russia hopes that another meeting on Yemen should take place in the near future

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MOSCOW, February 8. /TASS/. Prospects for a swift settlement of the Yemeni crisis are rather vague as of yet, Russian Ambassador in that country Vladimir Dedushkin told TASS on Monday.

"The Yemeni crisis is rooted not only in domestic problems but in external factors as well," he said. Thus, in his words, a number of countries are seeking to use this crisis as a pretext to impose international sanctions against the leaders of some of Yemeni forces or to impose economic settlement schemes designed by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). "This is what triggered the Houthi rebellion and entailed further escalation of the situation," the Russian diplomat said.

"It is easy to unleash a war but it is much more difficult to stop it," Dedushkin said. "It is a fact now that the bloody fratricidal conflict in Yemen has been going on for more than a year. The question is what was the reason to start it? From the very beginning Russia has been against any force solution. That was why we did not vote in support of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216 on Yemen. We have always been standing firm and have been calling for the use of political and diplomatic tools to settle this crisis."

Russia stands for early meeting on Yemen

According to the diplomat, Russia hopes that another meeting on Yemen take place in the near future.

"The latest intra-Yemeni meeting in Biel, Switzerland, at the end of last December was held on the basis of an agenda agreed (at the cost of great efforts) by the UN Secretary-General’s special envoy, Ismail Uld Sheikh Ahmed," Dedushkin recalled. "It was the first direct contact between the conflicting parties. The role of efforts by the special UN envoy should not be underestimated.

"In Biel, there was created a special UN coordinator-led committee for de-escalation consisting of military representatives from the conflicting sides. "The committee’s task is to control ceasefire, should such a regimen take effect. Committees for humanitarian issues and political settlement were established."

"The United Nations managed to lay the basis of future mechanisms of reconciliation and political dialogue," Dedushkin believes. "Even though these mechanisms have not yet been used to the full and the confrontation has not been stopped yet, the first stride towards peace has been made.

"The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Uld Sheikh Ahmed, is holding intensive contacts with the aim to convene another round of consultations," the diplomat said. "At this phase their preparations have confronted certain difficulties, because the parties have been trying to link the talks with preconditions. For instance the Houthi rebels and Yemen’s General People’s Congress party insist on the termination of bombardments, while the government demands implementation of the confidence-building measures agreed in Bile, such as the release of all political prisoners being held by the Houthis and the lifting of siege from Yemen’s third largest city of Taiz.

"Russia is urging all parties to overcome technical problems as soon as possible. It stresses the fact that putting forward any preconditions would be counter-productive."

"It is to be hoped the Yemenis in Sana and Riyadh develop the awareness there can be no military solution to the conflict and another meeting should take place no matter what in the near future. We hope this will be so," Dedushkin said.

Arab world understands difference between Russian, western policy better 

The ambassador also pointed out that Arab countries are beginning to understand the difference between the regional policy of Russia and Western partners, primarily the United States, more clearly.

"The Yemeni crisis is, undoubtedly, one of the links in the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ that swept the Middle East in 2011," the diplomat said. "Its effects are manifested vividly in the form of the large-scale military and political conflicts currently rocking Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen."

"The attempts of the West to impose its own agenda on the Arab people did take place and are occurring now stimulating the growth of the crisis," he said. "I would not like to slide into ideological formats, but people in the Arab world are beginning to understand more clearly the difference between the regional policy of Russia and Western partners, above all, the United States."

According to him, the facts "show that Russia proceeds from the will of the peoples in the region." "However, the West still finds it hard to perceive the emerging polycentric world order, and sometimes cannot get rid of the obsession to topple the unwanted regimes and attempts to ‘appoint’ regional government leaders at its own discretion," Dedushkin said.

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