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UN envoy welcomes lifting of house arrest of Yemeni leaders

17 March 2015 – The United Nations Special Adviser on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, welcomed the lifting of the house arrest of the country's Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and other Cabinet members as a "good gesture that may restore the missing confidence in the current political negotiations."

"This step could help normalize the security and political situation in Yemen if complemented by the implementation of the remaining demands of the Security Council, and a genuine commitment to reaching a political solution to the current crisis," Mr. Benomar said in a statement issued yesterday in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a.

Mr. Benomar expressed relief that the continuous outreach efforts eventually yielded positive results and ended one aspect of the "exceptional situation" in Yemen, namely placing the Prime Minister Khaled Bahah, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Alsaidi and other Cabinet members under house arrest.

"He considered the move a good gesture that may restore the missing confidence in the current political negotiations," the statement said.

The envoy expressed hope that the released government ministers would actively resume their contribution to Yemen's political life and to the success of the negotiations aimed at bringing the transitional process back on track and ending the serious crisis that threatens Yemen's unity, stability and security.

He renewed his call to Yemenis to adhere to resolving their differences peacefully through dialogue and reject all acts of violence to achieve political goals and "reaffirmed that the UN-brokered negotiations represent a genuine opportunity to reach consensus on the issues that have derailed the transition, considering them a lifeline that may spare Yemen the scenario of civil unrest and disintegration."

The Special Adviser also reaffirmed that he will spare no efforts with all Yemeni parties, especially the Houthis, so that they implement Security Council's resolution 2201. That resolution calls for, among other things, the parties to engage in good faith in the UN-brokered negotiations, and for the Houthis to withdraw their forces from government institutions and normalize the security situation in the capital Sana'a and other provinces, and relinquish government and security institutions and state-owned media outlets.

The resolution also calls for the release of all individuals under house arrest or arbitrarily detained, for allowing all Yemenis to assemble peacefully without fear and refraining from all unilateral actions to undermine the political transition.

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