Russia urges Yemen to accept deal to end 'civil war'

4th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russia expressed its concern on Saturday at the "terrible civil war" in Yemen and urged the country's leadership to accept a peace deal brokered by Persian Gulf nations.

"It is terrible what is happening there. It is simply a civil war, the most terrible civil war," Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency at a news conference in Odessa, Ukraine.

"If you think about the fate of the Yemen people, the Yemen state, then of course all those involved in these events should sign agreements, based on the initiative of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GGC)," Lavrov was quoted as saying.

Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh last month refused to sign a plan brokered by the GGC for him to step down in return for immunity and the country to be ruled by an opposition-led national unity government.

Russia had earlier insisted that Yemen's government and its opponents should resolve the conflict without international mediation, with Lavrov saying in April that "the opposing sides have to seek a solution within their state."

The Russian foreign ministry on Saturday disputed an earlier report, quoting a diplomatic source, that it was evacuating some of its embassy workers from Yemen and considering moving out all Russian national.

"There is no question of evacuating all staff from Russian establishments in Yemen," the press service was quoted by Interfax as saying.

© 2011 AFP

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