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Wed 21 Jan 2015 07:47 PM

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Gulf foreign ministers condemn Houthi 'coup' in Yemen

GCC ministers demand the Houthis withdraw from the palace and the private home of Yemeni President

Gulf foreign ministers condemn Houthi 'coup' in Yemen
Yemeni security forces stand guard in front of a poster bearing the portrait of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. (AFP/Getty Images)

Gulf Arab foreign ministers on Wednesday condemned what they called a coup d'etat by Yemen's Houthi movement after the Shi'ite Muslim group seized the presidential palace and defeated its guards in two days of battle.

However, while the six wealthy monarchies also described the Houthis' actions as terrorism, they stopped short of promising any measure to counter the group's growing sway in Sanaa.

"The GCC considers what happened in Sanaa on Tuesday Jan 20 as a coup," the ministers said in a statement after they met at a Riyadh airbase.

The ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which consists of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, called on the Houthis to withdraw from the palace and private home of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

They also demanded the Houthis free Hadi's office manager Ahmed bin Mubarak, a former nominee for prime minister, who they detained on Saturday, normalise the security situation in the capital and return government institutions to state control.

Yemeni security is particularly important to both Saudi Arabia and Oman, which share long desert and mountain borders with the country, but also to the other GCC states who all host large numbers of migrants from the impoverished republic.

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Nikos Retsos 5 years ago

I believe that the word "Coup" to describe the military events in Yemen is misleading. "Coup" is a word that describes the overthrow of a civilian government by its military - like Pakistan coups that oust elected civilian governments. What has happened in Yemen now is not a "coup" but a successful revolution by the majority Houthi population against the minority government of president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Hadi has not been a democratically elected president; he has been Abdullah Saleh's Vice President, who inherited the post of president after the ouster of president Abdullah Saleh, a pro-U.S. and pro-Saudi dictator of sorts. After Saleh's ouster, his nephews kept their commanding posts in the military, while Saleh's cronies kept all the top government posts.

The Houthi's takeover is a blessing for Yemen as the Houthis are expected to clean up Yemen from the parasites of Saleh, as well as the Sunni Al Qaeda groups. Amen! Nikos Retsos, retired professor