Almotamar.net Gulf News - Sanaa: The Yemeni Parliament has voted against the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, retracting a majority vote for it on March 24.
The 83 members (out of the 133 attending members) who voted against agreement said it was contradicting the constitution and Islamic Sharia, and the remaining 50 voted in favour saying it was in harmony with the constitution and Sharia.
On March 24, the statute was approved by a majority from all parties in a second session held to vote on the statute.
The Secretary General of the ruling People's General Congress, Abdul Qader Bajammal criticised yesterday the Parliamentary bloc of his party for voting against agreement, denying interference from President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
After the vote there was a rumour that the overwhelming majority of the ruling party had received instructions from President Saleh to cancel their previous vote for the agreement.
"Did you know that Yemen hosted an international conference in 2004 on the ICC and it was chaired by President Ali Abdullah Saleh?" Bajammal asked.
On April 6 the International coordinator of the Coalition of ICC, William R. Pace had sent a letter to President Saleh urging him to "approve the Parliament's important vote without delay".
The Yemeni coordinator of the CICC for Middle East and North Africa, Amal Basha declined to comment on the Parliament recantation.
"I have no comment on this retraction. I would only say, the young parliament will vote for the Rome Statute instead of the adult Parliament," Amal Basha said.
In Saturday's session chaired by Deputy Speaker, Yahya Al Ra'ee, some 81 MPs voted against and 50 voted in favour of it.
The supporters of ICC considered the step as a flagrant violation of the constitution and bylaws because the Parliament had already voted the Rome Statute and had addressed a letter to the President Saleh for the completion of the procedures. The letter was submitted to Saleh on March 26.
MP Mansour Al Zandani, one of those who oppose the ICC, said the vote against the ICC had represented a genuine willingness of the Parliament to adhere to the Sharia and constitution and by-laws.
But MP Shawqi Al Qadi said, "This vote does not mean anything because the Parliament has voted and now the ball is in President Saleh's court, and it is only him now who has the right to ratify or to return it to Parliament."
The Republic of Yemen has strongly denounced the Israeli aggression which led to the killing of the Palestinian Minister and Head of Popular Committee Against the Settlement and Apartheid Ziad Abu Ain.
"While the Republic of Yemen denounces this brutal assault, it shoulders Israel the responsibility of this atrocious act that contradicts humanitarian values," said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a release issued on Wednesday.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has held in Amman, Jordan, a four-day workshop on the implementation of Yemen's project portfolio.
The workshop, which started on Monday, also intends to review the general conditions and adopted procedures for all IFAD projects and financing agreements.
Representatives of at least 30 relevant bodies take part in the workshop, including Economic Opportunities Fund (EOF), and Ministries of Planning and International Cooperation, Finance, Agriculture and Fisheries.
At the opening session of the workshop, Yemen's project portfolio Director Mohammed Abdul-Qader talked about the importance of applying the IFAD-adopted procedures and regulations of the financing agreement and the general conditions to implement projects, stressing that IFAD's all projects aim to eradicate poverty in rural areas.
Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Abdul Latif bin Rashid al-Zayani has warned that Yemen is on the prim of a looming catastrophe because of foreign influence and private interests of some parties in the crisis Yemen has witnessed.
This was mentioned in his speech at the 10th round of the Manama Dialogue which is taking place during 5 – 7 December in the Bahraini capital, Manama.
“I believe that the Gulf initiative to settle the Yemeni crisis has included most, if not all, the related aspects to improve a general and active approach to solve security and strategic issues which primarily requires participation of the most effective bodies,” GCC Secretary General al-Zayani said.
“Despite all the support given to Yemen by the regional and international community, this country is at the edge of an impending disaster due to foreign influence and private interests of some influential parties in the crisis,” he added.
A US journalist and a South African citizen held by al-Qaeda in Yemen were killed during a rescue attempt by US and Yemeni forces, the Supreme Security Committee (SSC) said on Saturday.
A security crackdown was carried out by Yemeni Counter-terrorism forces in coordination with U.S. forces to free the two hostages who were held at the terrorist Saeed al-Daghari's house in Abadan village in Shabwa province, an official source at the SSC told Saba.
The security crackdown asked at first the terrorist elements to surrender themselves and release the hostages, but they refused to do so and immediately proceeded to shoot the hostages to kill them, the source explained.
The U.S. denounced on Thursday the bomb attack on the Iranian ambassador's residence in Sana'a, calling for a "thorough" investigation.
"The United States condemns the bombing at the Iranian ambassador’s residence in Sana’a earlier on Wednesday and expresses its condolences to the families of the victims,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf was quoted as saying in a statement.
"Attacks on diplomatic facilities and against diplomats contravene all international norms and can never be justified or excused," Harf said, urging the Yemeni authorities to open a " thorough" investigation and "bring the perpetrators to justice".
On the other hand, France condemned on Thursday, in a statement issued by its Foreign Ministry, the bomb attack on the Iranian ambassador's residence in Sana'a, expressing its condolences to the families' victims.