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Council conclusions on Yemen

Council of the EU
  • 20/04/2015
  • 16:20
  • Press event
  • 191/15
  • Foreign affairs & international relations
20/04/2015
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Susanne Kiefer
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1.         The EU is seriously concerned with the rapidly deteriorating political, security and humanitarian situation in Yemen. Recent developments carry grave risks for the stability of the region, in particular that of the Horn of Africa, the Red Sea and the wider Middle-East. The EU condemns the destabilising unilateral actions taken by the Houthis and military units loyal to ex-President Saleh, urges these forces to end the use of violence immediately and unconditionally and withdraw from areas they have seized, including Sana'a and Aden, and reaffirms its support to Yemen's legitimate authorities. In this regard, the EU welcomes the appointment of Khaled Bahah as the new Vice President of Yemen by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi. The EU notes that the President of Yemen informed the President of the Security Council of the United Nations that "he has requested from the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf and the League of Arab States to immediately provide support, by all necessary means and measures, including military intervention, to protect Yemen and its people from the continuing aggression by the Houthis". The EU recalls that ultimately the solution to this crisis must be a political one and stands with the international community in its call for an inclusive political process.

2.         The EU therefore urges all Yemeni parties, in particular the Houthis, to work towards resolving their differences through dialogue and consultation. In that context, the EU calls on all parties to rapidly engage in a process leading to an expeditious cessation of violence and urges all Yemeni parties to go back to the negotiating table. Furthermore, the EU strongly urges the UN to quickly undertake efforts to resume inclusive negotiations and looks forward to the swift appointment of a new UNSG Special Advisor for Yemen. It welcomes the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council and its members to complement these initiatives, fully in line with the framework provided by the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative, the National Dialogue Conferences' (NDC) outcomes and the Peace and National Partnership Agreement. Only a broad political consensus through inclusive negotiations can provide a sustainable solution, restore peace, and preserve the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen. The formation of a Government of National Unity is the only way to finalise the transition process and avoid economic and financial collapse and the deepening of the humanitarian crisis. The EU also calls on all regional actors to engage constructively with Yemeni parties in order to enable a de-escalation of the crisis and avoid further regional instability. The EU further urges all parties to fully implement respective UN‑Security Council resolutions, in particular UNSC Resolution 2201 of 15 February 2015, and Resolution 2216 of 14 April 2015.

3.         The EU reiterates its firm commitment and determination to tackle the threat of extremist and terrorist groups, such as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), to prevent them from taking further advantage of the current situation. The EU condemns in the strongest terms recent terrorist attacks, in particular the ones carried out against mosques in Sana'a and Saada on 20 March.

4.         The humanitarian impact of the ongoing fighting between different militias, bombardments and disruption of essential services on the civilian population, in particular on children, is reaching alarming proportions and exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation. The EU calls on all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and refrain from direct targeting of civilian infrastructure notably medical facilities and water systems and from using civilian buildings for military purposes.

5.         The EU also urges all sides to urgently give unrestricted access to humanitarian workers and aid relief, so that vital assistance can be immediately delivered to the most vulnerable people. All measures to ensure the respect of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law should be taken. The EU calls for the independent investigation of all alleged violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law. The EU stresses the need for coordinated humanitarian action under UN leadership, and urges all countries to contribute to addressing humanitarian needs.

6.         The EU reaffirms its commitment to continue supporting Yemen and the Yemeni people.