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Russian UN envoy calls for ending search for scapegoats in Yemeni conflict

February 28, 3:15 UTC+3 UNITED NATIONS

Vasily Nebenzya said that "efforts to launch a meaningful process have been failing so far," while the situation in Yemen, "first and foremost, the humanitarian situation, has become catastrophic"

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Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya

Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya

© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

UNITED NATIONS, February 28. /TASS/. The global community must seek to launch a peace process in Yemen rather than look for scapegoats, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said at a UN Security Council meeting.

United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, whose term is expiring in late February, presented a report at the meeting, while Security Council members, including the United Kingdom and the United States, shared their views on the humanitarian situation in the country and efforts to resolve the conflict. The US particularly criticized Iran, accusing it of destabilizing the situation in Yemen and the entire region. London and Washington had earlier failed to make the UN Security Council pass a resolution accusing Iran of illegal arms supplies to Yemeni rebels.

While addressing the meeting, the Russian envoy said that "efforts to launch a meaningful process have been failing so far," while the situation in Yemen, "first and foremost, the humanitarian situation, has become catastrophic." "The Yemen conflict is highly complicated and complex, so there is a need to search for ways to launch an peace process without preconditions rather than look for scapegoats, trying to adjust the desired result to someone’s geopolitical plans," Nebenzya said.

He pointed to the efforts to improve the situation in Yemen being made by the United Nations and some countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. However, the Russian envoy stressed that "humanitarian assistance alone cannot help find long-term viable solutions." "The situation needs to be brought to the political track. Under the current critical circumstances, it is important for the United Nations to have a clear action plan," the Russian diplomat noted.

According to Nebenzya, much will depend on Martin Griffiths, the new UN special envoy for Yemen. "We expect him to hold consultations with all the parties in the conflict and figure out his action plan that could be included in the next report for the Security Council," Nebenzya said.

Yemen conflict

The war between Yemen’s government, recognized by the global community, and the Houthi rebels has been raging since August 2014. The conflict entered an active phase when a Saudi-led coalition invaded the country. Saudi Arabia, supported by the air forces of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, is involved in a military operation against the rebels. Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan are also part of the coalition.

According to the Yemeni Center for Human Rights and Development, in the first 800 days of bombings, more than 12,500 civilians were killed. The United Nations says that three-thirds of the Yemeni population - 22.2 mln people - are in need of aid, while seven mln are facing the risk of starvation.

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