A Growing Rift Between Washington and the Gulf States on Yemen
March 7, 2015
Activity intensified over the past week at the United Nations with respect to the deteriorating situation in Yemen — amid further evidence of a rift over the country’s future between Washington and its traditional Gulf allies.
Jamal Benomar, the United Nations special envoy to Yemen, met with Yemeni president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi at his new headquarters in Aden. He reiterated support for Hadi as the country’s legitimately elected leader, told reporters that his “resumption of duties would help to pull the country together,” and called for a resolution of the crisis within the framework of the “Gulf Initiative.” Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council decided to extend the mandate of the “group of four” experts on Yemen, which was established to oversee sanctions measures employed against individuals and entities designated as threatening “peace, security or stability “in the country. And the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Friday raised alarms about a growing number of “unlawful arrests, arbitrary detention, and the targeting of journalists” in the country.
The seeming consistency of the UN position stood in contrast to conflicting signals from Washington. On the one hand, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that her government would like “all parties” to “recommit themselves to the GCC initiative, National Dialogue Conference outcomes, and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.” But over a week in which GCC embassies relocated to Aden in solidarity with the Yemeni president, Psaki stated that no one in the Administration had been in touch with Hadi since he arrived in Yemen, and went on to say two days later that she was “unsure about whether there had been any US contact with Hadi since Monday.”
A flurry of media reports in the United States have meanwhile appeared suggesting that the United States is growing closer to Iran with…