By Arab News
By Ephrem Kossaify
The UN Security Council condemned “in the strongest terms” the Houthis’ ongoing breach of the former US embassy compound in Sanaa, calling on the Iran-backed militia to immediately withdraw their militants from the premises and release the detainees.
The US had issued similar calls to the Houthis last week after the rebels stormed the compound that formerly hosted the US embassy in the Yemen capital and took hostage an unspecified number of Yemenis working at the premises.
The embassy raid came on the heels of a visit by a mission representing the five permanent members of the UN Security Council (the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China). During the visit, they voiced support to the Yemeni government and criticized the Houthis, condemning their attacks on Saudi Arabia and the ongoing Marib offensive.
The US State Department has vowed to intensify its “diplomatic efforts to secure the release of our staff and the vacating of our compound, including through our international partners.”
The US transferred its embassy to Riyadh in 2015 at the onset of the civil war in Yemen.
Security council members specifically called for the protection of a diplomatic mission that has been temporarily recalled, “together with its property and archives.”
In a statement, the council “recalled the fundamental principles enshrined in the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations notably the prohibition against the intrusion into the diplomatic property as well as the inviolability of the premises of the mission and their immunity from search, requisition, attachment or execution.”