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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova's response to a media question regarding a Sana'a court ruling on President of Yemen Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi

Question: It was reported recently that a court in the Yemeni capital Sana'a has sentenced, in absentia, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to death. Can you comment on this?

Maria Zakharova: We also took note of this information. It follows that the Specialised Criminal Court of the first instance, which considered the case on charges of "treason, inviting into the country and assisting Saudi Arabia, which launched an armed aggression against the Republic of Yemen," also decided to deprive the President of Yemen of the status of head of state. Some high-ranking representatives of his administration were also sentenced to capital punishment.

These reports from Sana'a, which is controlled by Hadi's opponents – the Houthi movement Ansar Allah and the supporters of former President of the Republic of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh – coincided with the second anniversary of the beginning of the bloody and destructive civil war with the participation of the Saudi-led Arab coalition. In this regard, we reaffirm our fundamental position in favour of an early cessation of hostilities and the resumption of a negotiation process in the Republic of Yemen, taking into account the interests of all leading political forces in the country.

We continue to believe that the unilateral steps taken by the parties to the conflict, including the current court ruling, as well as the sea and air blockade of certain regions of Yemen controlled by the Houthis and Saleh supporters, are not conducive to creating a favourable environment for restoring trust and restarting the dialogue, and put off the prospects for a peaceful resolution of the crisis, which is so much needed by the long-suffering Yemeni people.