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Russia FM: situation in Yemen should not escalate into conflict between Arabs and Iran

March 31, 2015, 11:19 UTC+3
In order to avoid escalation, any use of force in Yemen should be stopped, and the sides should resume talks in neutral territory
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Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

© EPA/TASS/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

MOSCOW, March 31. /TASS/. Moscow cannot allow for the situation in Yemen to turn into an open conflict between the Arabs and Iran, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.

"It should not be allowed to deteriorate into a Sunni-Shia standoff," Lavrov said. "We have been warning about the serious threat of such a split inside Islam from the very start of the Arab Spring. We were not heard very well, or maybe we were heard, but they just chose not to take this into consideration. We cannot allow for this situation to turn into an attempt to unleash an open conflict between the Arabs and Iran," the foreign minister said.

The minister said any use of force in Yemen should be stopped.

"We are deeply concerned with the developments in Yemen. The situation should not get out of control," he said.

The minister said the sides should resume talks in neutral territory.

"The Ansar Allah group should stop military activities in the south of Yemen. The coalition should stop delivering air strikes at the territory of Yemen. Both sides - the side of President [Abd Rabbuh Mansur] Hadi, and the side of so-called Houthis - should restart negotiations," Lavrov said. "There is understanding that the talks should be [held] on neutral territory," he added.

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