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Gulf FMs slam Houthi 'coup' in Yemen

"We will take all necessary measures to protect Yemen and its stability," the statement read

21.01.2015
Gulf FMs slam Houthi 'coup' in Yemen

RIYADH

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has termed this week's seizure of Yemen's presidential compound by Shiite Houthi militants a "coup" against legitimacy.

In a Wednesday statement, GCC foreign ministers called on the Houthis "to leave the presidential palace and return all government institutions to the state."

The ministers also called on the Houthis to free Presidential Chief-of-Staff Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, who since Saturday has been held by Houthi militants.

The ministers further condemned what they described as "terrorist acts" allegedly committed by the Houthis and their supporters.

"We will take all necessary measures to protect Yemen and its stability," the statement read, giving no further details.

Yemen was rocked by more instability on Monday when Houthi militants clashed with presidential guard units before taking control of the presidential palace in Sanaa.

The Houthis, who have maintained control of Sanaa since last September, also detained Prime Minister Khaled Bahah inside the presidential palace.

Some Arab capitals have alleged that the Houthi insurgency is being funded by Shiite Iran.

Yemen has remained in the throes of instability since pro-democracy protests in 2011 forced autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down one year later.

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