Gulf states condemn attempted 'coup' in Yemen, back president

AFP , Wednesday 21 Jan 2015

Followers of the Shi'ite Houthi group attend a gathering at the group's camp near Sanaa September 10, 2014. (Photo:Reuters)

Gulf foreign ministers on Wednesday accused Shiite militia in Yemen of attempting to stage a "coup" against President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, a day after the Huthi fighters seized the presidential palace.

"The states of the Gulf Cooperation Council consider what happened in Sanaa on Tuesday... a coup against the legitimate authority," the ministers said in a statement following an emergency meeting in Riyadh.

The GCC also expressed support for the "constitutionally legitimate authority" of Hadi, and rejected "all measures aimed at imposing change by force".

They warned that Gulf states "would take all measures necessary to protect their security, stability and vital interests in Yemen."

The ministers offered to send a GCC envoy to Yemen for mediation if the Huthis withdrew from the presidential palace and other government buildings and freed Hadi's abducted chief of staff Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak.

They also called for the withdrawal of militiamen around Hadi's residence in western Sanaa.

Gulf countries had brokered an accord in November 2011 that eased former president Ali Abdullah Saleh out of office following a year of nationwide protests.

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