MOSCOW, January 22. /TASS/. Moscow expects all parties to the Yemeni conflict to go over from combat actions to negotiations and a political settlement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at a meeting with his Yemeni counterpart Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi on Monday.
"The situation in Yemen did not get any better. On the contrary, there are additional questions, which I hope we will discuss in detail today. The problems that have emerged are related to the internal political conflict in your country involving the Arab coalition," Lavrov said. "We do hope that an extremely difficult humanitarian situation will prompt everyone whom it depends on to promptly go over from military action to negotiations, to a political settlement involving all Yemeni forces."
"Russia as a country that maintains relations with all Yemeni groups without exception, with all external players, which influence the situation in Yemen one way or another, is ready to assist in every possible way," the minister noted. "I appreciate this opportunity to receive from you the Yemeni government's assessments regarding the prospects for a settlement."
According to Lavrov, settlement schemes imposed on Yemen from outside will turn out not viable and counterproductive.
"We believe that political settlement schemes in other formats imposed on Yemen from outside will prove not viable and counterproductive," Lavrov said.
Russia's top diplomat also said that the United Nations should have an opportunity to carry out humanitarian flights to the Yemeni capital of Sana’a uninterrupted.
"We believe that the United Nations should have an opportunity to carry out humanitarian flights to Sana’a uninterrupted," Lavrov said.
The murder of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was aimed at undermining the efforts to start a peaceful settlement of the situation in this country, according to Lavrov.
"When it happened, we regarded it as a very grave crime apparently devised to undermine the efforts to embark on a peaceful settlement," the Russian minister stressed.
Yemen has been a scene of armed confrontation between government forces and Houthi rebels since August 2014. The hostilities peaked with the intrusion of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in March 2015.
The situation deteriorated dramatically on November 29, 2017, when fierce fighting began in Sana’a. It was triggered by Houthi rebels' attempts to seize some government agencies and facilities controlled by supporters of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. On December 2, Yemen’s ex-president announced termination of partnership with Houthi rebels, and on December 4 he was killed by the insurgents.