MOSCOW, December 7. /TASS/. Moscow calls for a cessation of hostilities in Yemen, Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement following a meeting between Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, President of Yemen Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Al-Mekhlafi and UN Secretary General Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.
"Russia called for halting military activities as soon as possible and preventing steps that could further raise tensions in Yemen," the statement reads. "The risk of an expanding civil war was highlighted, which may plunge Yemen into a complete military and political chaos and bring the country’s people to the brink of an irreversible humanitarian catastrophe," the Foreign Ministry said.
The ministry also stressed that any backstage deals and ill-conceived plans concerning Yemen were unacceptable, since they "would only deteriorate the situation." "In this connection, it was stated that there was no alternative to resolving the protracted crisis in Yemen through a broad inclusive dialogue involving the United Nations, aimed at finding a solution that would suit all the political forces," the statement adds.
Violent fighting has been going on in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a since November 29. Clashes began when the Houthi rebels attempted to seize a number of state buildings and facilities controlled by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s supporters. On December 2, Saleh broke partnership with the Houthis, and was killed by the rebels on December 4, while trying to leave the capital and move to his native settlement.
The standoff between the Yemeni government forces and rebels began in August 2014 but the conflict entered an active phase when the Saudi-led coalition invaded the country. In January 2015, the Houthis seized Sana’a forcing President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to move to Aden. He left the country after the Houthis entered the city on March 25. Since March 26, Saudi Arabia, supported by the air forces of Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, has been conducting a military operation against the rebels. Egypt, Jordan, Morocco and Sudan also joined the coalition.