GCC invites Yemeni parties to meet in the Kingdom

April 11, 2011

An extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Ministerial Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) concluded in Riyadh yesterday with the release of a statement outlining an initiative to end the current crisis in Yemen. “The GCC countries invite the Government of Yemen and the opposition parties to meet in Saudi Arabia, under the umbrella of the Cooperation Council for the Arab Gulf States,” the statement read. Negotiations will be conducted in accordance with a set of pre-approved goals, it continued. These include: the maintenance of the unity, security and stability of Yemen; the fulfillment of the aspirations of the Yemeni people for change and reform; a smooth transfer of power based on national consensus; the removal of political and security-related tensions; and the ceasing of all forms of retaliation and prosecution.

According to the agreement, the Yemeni President will announce the transfer of his powers to the Vice-President. A government of national unity will be formed under the chairmanship of the opposition with the power to run the country politically, militarily and economically and to write a constitution and hold elections.

The GCC reiterated its concern at the ongoing deterioration of the security situation in Yemen and stressed the importance of preserving its unity and stability.

The meeting was attended by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal; Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa; UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash; Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al-Thani; Omani Minister Responsible for Foreign Affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah; and Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah.