(AA) — The UN Security Council said Friday it would consider unspecified “further steps” if Houthi rebels who seized power in Yemen did not return to negotiating table.
“The members of the Security Council expressed grave concern at the announcement by Houthis to break off talks, to dissolve parliament, and to take over all of Yemen’s government institutions,” the 15-member council’s current president and China’s UN envoy, Jieyi Liu, told reporters.
Reaffirming support for Yemen’s territorial integrity, he said the council was ready to “take further steps if the UN-led negotiations are not immediately resumed.”
Yemen’s Shia Houthi rebels Friday dissolved the parliament and said it would establish a “transitional council” and a government of technocrats to run the country for two years.
The group emerged as a political and military force last September after taking over the capital, Sanaa, and extending control over other parts of the country.
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi stepped down on Jan. 21 in protest at the seizure of Sanaa and his house arrest, following a similar move by Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and his cabinet.
The UN Security Council also called for “the immediate release of President Hadi, Prime Minister Bahah, and members of the cabinet from house arrest.”
Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since former President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in 2012 following a months-long popular uprising against his 33-year grip in power.