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On Yemen, UNSC Meets about Diesel Fuel and Where Talks Should Resume

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, May 1, updated with transcript -- On Yemen, the UN Security Council convened a closed door meeting on Friday May 1 at 1 pm. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin explained that he called it, because not only weapons but diesel fuel is being blocked from getting in.

  Churkin cited an April 30 statement by Saudi Arabia which he said could be read as calling for the talks to resume in Riyadh, which "some of the parties are definitely not going to attend."

  As Inner City Press reported and asked the UN, Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif at NYU this week said Geneva might be the venue; Inner City Press asked the UN which, in a rare answer, said it is a possibility.

Here is Inner City Press' fast transcript of what Churkin said on his way into the UNSC:

  "There are very serious basic shortages of food, medicine, diesel fuel which for some reason they’re not allowing to be brought in. Everything there works on diesel fuel in Yemen. 
There is no embargo of bringing anything but weapons for some people. So, why they are posing problems for bringing in diesel fuel is something which has to be looked at.
"And generally, we all support negotiations and we don’t see an interest on the part of those who are engaged in bombing in engaging with the new special representative of the Secretary General. So, we are going to discuss, and I hope we hear what Mr. Feltman has to stay about the statement they issued yesterday where it could be read as calling for a meeting in Riyadh, which some parties definitely are not going to attend, and sort of as a rallying cry for those who support President Hadi, against whom, I suppose against those who they are fighting now in Yemen.
But always, it is boding very ill for developments in the near future, both on humanitarian and security front. We want to discuss the situation with members of the Security Council.
....we’ll be proposing a brief press statement. As from the outset. From the outset. It reflects end of hostilities, or at least humanitarian pauses, and immediate resumption of talks on the basis which has been prepared through a lengthy process of negotiations by Mr. Benomar."

  New UK Ambassador Matthew Rycroft stopped and said "there can be no military solution, the only way out is a political solution and that means a return to political talks."

  Good - but where?

  UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on April 25 named Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed to replace Jamal Benomar as envoy.

  Three times Inner City Press had asked the Office of the UN Spokesperson why Ould Cheikh Ahmed is not listed on Ban's webpage of public financial discloure and to say, yes or no, if he has an interest in a business which received funding from the Gulf. Three times the Office of Spokesperson promised to look into and give an answer, but never did. This is Ban's UN.


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