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Russia Calls UNSC Session Over Yemen Crisis Amid Saudi-Led Airstrikes

Russia Calls UNSC Session Over Yemen Crisis Amid Saudi-Led Airstrikes

Russia has called an emergency UN Security Council session to put on pause Saudi-led coalition airstrikes for humanitarian purposes in an effort to quell the violence that is impacting civilians. The extraordinary meeting was scheduled for Saturday at 3pm GMT at the UN headquarters in NYC.

The Russian UN mission’s spokesman,Aleksey Zaytsev told Sputnik that Russia insists it is necessary for the international community to discuss the establishment of regular and mandatory “humanitarian pauses” in the ongoing coalition air strikes on Yemen.

RT reports: A coalition of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia, has been engaging Houthi militias from the air for over a week now, after the Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi was forced to flee the country and asked for an international intervention to reinstate his rule.

Moscow is calling for a diplomatic solution to the conflict emphasizing that foreign military intervention would only lead to more civilian deaths. On Friday, Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with the newly appointed Saudi ambassador, conveying the “necessity of a ceasefire” to create favorable conditions for a peaceful national dialogue.

Russia has already taken steps to evacuate all of its personnel from its Yemeni consulate, which was damaged in the conflict. It has also taken an active role evacuating Russian nationals and other civilians from the country.

On Thursday Russia proposed amendments to a UN Security Council draft resolution on Yemen. The world security body “should speak in a principled manner for ending any violence…in the Yemen crisis,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said, adding that a draft resolution on the crisis has already been submitted to the UNSC.

Echoing Lavrov’s words, Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich also called on immediate cessation of hostilities, adding that Russia will continue active diplomatic efforts in dealing with all Yemeni factions and Middle Eastern partners in order to restart political process. Lukashevich also called on the UN special envoy to Yemen, Jamal Benomar, to play a bigger role in the settlement of the crisis.

Meanwhile on the ground on Friday, after coalition bombardment campaign Houthi militias left the presidential palace in Aden, after occupying it a day earlier. “The Houthi militia and their allies withdrew before dawn from the Al-Maashiq palace,” said the official in Aden.