Jordan's U.N. ambassador and president of the Security Council
this month, Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, told reporters that
the council would start "drafting a resolution in the coming days
which will support the wishes and aspirations of the government and
people of Yemen."
"Council members also expressed their readiness to look into taking
measures against any side that attempts to place obstacles to
subvert," stability in Yemen, Prince Zeid told reporters.
Yemen, in turmoil since a popular uprising ousted Saleh in 2011, is
also struggling against southern secessionists and an economic
"Undoubtedly there is real progress in the transition and the
beginnings of a new political culture in Yemen, yet the situation
remains fragile," Jamal Benomar, special adviser to the U.N.
secretary-general on Yemen, told reporters after briefing the
Benomar referred to a November 27 statement by the Security Council
that said elements of the former government continue to "obstruct,
frustrate and undermine the course of change, aiming to set back and
bring down the transition."
"I told the council that the Yemeni people are doing their part and
they are counting on this council to do its part," he said. Several
diplomats said Benomar was encouraging the council to consider
sanctions on Saleh and other individuals believed to be obstructing
Several diplomatic sources present at the closed-door meeting said
it appeared all council members were ready to begin work on setting
up a new U.N. sanctions regime for Yemen.
"There's a consensus that something needs to be done," one
diplomatic source told Reuters.
[to top of second column]
The council has previously expressed concern over reports of
interference by Saleh and former vice president Ali Salim Al-Beidh.
Under the U.S.-backed power transfer deal, President Abd-Rabbu
Mansour Hadi is overseeing reforms for an interim period to ensure a
transition to democracy. New elections were expected this year.
Saleh stepped down in February 2012 after 33 years in office as part
of the power-transfer deal, but he remains influential. His
continuing sway in Yemen worries Gulf neighbors and Western nations
fearful that the transition could descend into chaos.
In November Benomar accused members of Saleh's circle of obstructing
reconciliation talks aimed at completing the power transfer deal,
and called for international support for the current administration.
(Additional reporting by Michelle Nichols;
editing by Eric Walsh)
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