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UNITED NATIONS, March 18. /TASS/. The UN Security Council held a meeting on Yemen on Friday at the initiative of Russia discussing the humanitarian situation in that country and efforts on the peaceful resolution of the conflict between the government and insurgents, Russian Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Vladimir Safronkov, told reporters after the closed-door meeting. The meeting was held amid a spike in hostilities in Hodeidah province where the country’s main port, which receives humanitarian aid, is located.
According to Safronkov, the purpose of the consultations was "to urge the UN to step up its efforts to establish a real diplomatic process and negotiations." The diplomat noted that Russia expressed its concern over the fact that "unfortunately, the warmongering logic and desire to solve problems by military means is so far prevalent in Yemen." "We warned that storming the port of Hodeidah will lead to grave humanitarian consequences," he said.
The diplomat emphasized that the delegations of all 15 Security Council member-countries "expressed their unanimous stance on the inadmissibility of getting involved in a military solution to the problem, it is necessary to search for a political settlement." "As far as we understand, the Arab countries are likewise concerned about the situation in Yemen and the humanitarian consequences of the situation," Safronkov said, commenting on the consultations.
Speaking about the work of UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the diplomat noted that the efforts of the envoy who spent the past few weeks holding consultations with the countries in the region and other interested international players "are clearly insufficient." "We want him to play a more active role," Safronkov said. He recalled that last week UN Under-Secretary-General Stephen O’Brien described the situation in Yemen as the largest humanitarian crisis on the planet. "Many Security Council member-countries were grateful to us for convening these consultations, " he said.
The standoff between government forces and insurgents in Yemen has been going on since August 2014. It entered its active phase with the beginning of an invasion by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia in March 2015. According to the UN, almost 19 million people, that is two-thirds of Yemen’s population, need humanitarian aid.