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Kuwaiti official: Gulf Initiative did not include the transfer of power from the Yemeni president to a presidential council

February 6, 2015 at 4:31 pm

The Undersecretary of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Jarallah said that the Gulf Cooperation Council’s initiative on Yemen did not include the transfer of power from the president to a presidential council.

During a press conference held yesterday, after the meetings of the Kuwaiti-British Steering Committee, the Kuwaiti official said that the situation in Yemen is evolving in a disturbing manner. He expressed his hope that the Gulf Initiative would be activated and implemented.

The Gulf Initiative is a political agreement that was proposed by the GCC following the outbreak of the popular uprising against Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011. It provided for the steps of transferring the power, the formation of a national accord government, and giving Saleh immunity after his abdication from power.

With the escalation of events in Yemen since Houthis took control of Sanaa on 21 September last year, and President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and his government resigned last month, calls for the formation of a presidential council have emerged to lead the country towards a comprehensive power transfer process.

“Returning to the GCC initiative will provide the only practical and realistic solution to the crisis,” Al-Jarallah said.

With regards to holding an Arab ministerial meeting or an Arab summit to discuss the Yemeni affairs and the Islamic State (ISIS), Al-Jarallah said that what he knows is that an Arab summit will be held in Egypt at the end of March.

A senior source from the Joint Coalition Meeting, which comprises six parties that were opposed to President Saleh, had previously told the Anadolu Agency that the political parties would meet on Thursday to examine the stance of the Reform and Socialist parties whose representatives had requested the dialogue session be postponed so as party leaders would discuss the proposal of forming a presidential council.

The source noted, on condition of anonymity, that political factions, except for the Reform and Social parties, had agreed on Wednesday to the proposal of forming a presidential council.

Later, a senior source at the Yemeni Socialist Party, which is a member of the Joint Meeting Coalition, announced the approval on the presidential council proposal with the aim of resolving the constitutional vacuum crisis.

Houthis announced on Wednesday that in the coming days they would begin the procedures of power arrangement in Yemen. But the statement published in the name of the revolutionary committees, which are affiliated with the Houthi group, did not provide details of the procedures. The group gave Yemen’s political factions a three-day ultimatum to reach an agreement towards filling the political vacuum in the country.

On Tuesday, the ambassadors of 14 countries in Yemen issued a joint statement announcing their support for the negotiations taking place under the auspices of the United Nations and urging all factions to resolve the crisis through the results of the Yemeni national dialogue, the national peace and partnership agreement, and the Gulf initiative.

The 14 ambassadors countries include the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, five GCC countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman), as well as Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and Turkey.