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UN Security Council calls for stepping up Yemen talks

26 february 2015, 13:18

 The UN Security Council on Wednesday called for the stepping up of UN-brokered talks on ending a growing crisis in Yemen after President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's escape from house arrest, AFP reports.

The Western-backed president was ousted by the Shiite Huthi militia last month and placed under house arrest in Sanaa, but at the weekend he managed to flee the capital and resurfaced in the southern port city of Aden.

The 15-member council demanded in a unanimous statement that the Huthis "immediately, unconditionally and safely" release Prime Minister Khalid Bahah, members of the cabinet and others still under house arrest.

Highlighting Hadi's willingness to take part in the UN talks, the council "urged all parties to accelerate these negotiations" led by UN envoy Jamal Benomar.

Hadi on Wednesday met an envoy of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, which has branded the Huthi takeover of Sanaa a coup.

The Security Council called on all parties in Yemen, including the Huthis, to resolve differences "through dialogue and consultation, reject acts of violence to achieve political goals and refrain from provocation."

International alarm has been growing over Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia and is a key US ally in the fight against Al-Qaeda.

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