Political Analysis

FCO Minister expresses regret at President Saleh’s refusal to sign peace agreement

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Alistair Burt

Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt, has expressed the UK’s regret at the continued refusal by President Saleh to sign the peace agreement brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Speaking today, Mr Burt said: that “President Saleh’s continued refusal to sign the peace agreement brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a matter of the deepest regret to the United Kingdom. He is now isolated from leaders in his own party and the opposition who have demonstrated their commitment to a peaceful transition of power. The GCC initiative represents the best chance to achieve a peaceful settlement to the political crisis.

“President Saleh’s calculated unwillingness to sign the agreement risks provoking tension at a time when all efforts should be directed towards tackling Yemen’s grave economic, social and security problems. All sides should support this by exercising restraint and continuing to avoid violence.

“We welcome the efforts the Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council has made to achieve a peaceful resolution to Yemen’s crisis, and I condemn attempts to impede his mission including the blockading of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates by armed pro-regime protestors in Sana’a on Sunday.  The Government of Yemen has an international obligation to ensure the protection of diplomats and diplomatic premises and must ensure this at all times.”