Ban cease-fire call ‘upsets Gulf states’

Ban cease-fire call ‘upsets Gulf states’
Updated 26 April 2015

Ban cease-fire call ‘upsets Gulf states’

Ban cease-fire call ‘upsets Gulf states’

NEW YORK: Several Gulf Arab states are unhappy about UN chief Ban Ki-moon's call for an immediate cease-fire by all sides in Yemen and are expected to raise the issue in a meeting with him soon, UN diplomatic sources have said.
Ban has called for an immediate halt to the fighting, the first time he has made such an appeal since Saudi-led airstrikes against Houthi rebels began three weeks ago.
The main topic of the meeting will be the replacement for the outgoing UN envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar, who announced his resignation on Wednesday. But, the sources said, they are also expected to raise their concerns about the appeal Ban made in a speech at the National Press Club.
“Gulf states are not happy about the speech and expect to make that point with the SG (Ban) in the meeting," a diplomatic source said.
Meanwhile, militiamen loyal to Yemen’s president besieged an air base once crucial to the US drone program targeting Al-Qaeda militants in the country, trying to dislodge the Shiite rebels holding the complex, a spokesman said.
Qa’ed Nasser, a spokesman for the militia backing Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, said his fighters launched several attacks on the Al-Annad air base amid airstrikes. He said that the Houthis have been forced to abandon parts of the base due to the attacks.
In another significant development, anti-Bashar Assad protesters in Syria are demanding a “Decisive Storm” operation against the tyrant leader. According to the Daily Star Lebanon, “one protester outside Damascus, held a sign saying that the hoped-for intervention would rid Syria of ‘Iranian occupation,’” referring to Tehran’s military backing of Assad since the start of the uprising.