Arab League meeting on Yemen to be held on schedule

CAIRO (AA) – Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al-Arabi said Monday that an emergency meeting on Yemen slated for Wednesday would be held on schedule despite a request for delay by the league's Yemeni representative.

Al-Arabi's statements came after he met with his aides to discuss a request by Yemen's league representative to postpone the meeting to "allow efforts of UN envoy Jamal Benomar to reach consensus as to how to resolve the current crisis [in Yemen]."

It remains unclear which Yemeni government authority instructed the league delegate to request the delay.

Al-Arabi, for his part, insisted on holding the meeting on schedule. If it was not possible to hold the meeting on the foreign ministers' level, he said, it could be held on the level of foreign ministers' deputies.

Last September, Yemen's Shiite Houthi movement emerged as a formidable political and military force after taking control of capital Sanaa before moving on to consolidate its control over other parts of the country.

Earlier this month, the Houthi leadership issued a "constitutional declaration" dissolving parliament and establishing a 551-member "transitional council."

According to the declaration, pro-Houthi "revolutionary committees" will form a transitional council to replace the dissolved assembly.

On Sunday, the UN Security Council urged the Houthis to "immediately withdraw their forces" from all areas currently under their control, including Sanaa.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in 2012 following a months-long popular uprising against his 33-year rule.

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