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Yemen Reverses Decision to Expel UN Human Rights Envoy

FILE - Yemeni volunteers provide food items for displaced families who fled Saada province, northwest of Sana'a, during a food distribution by Yemeni volunteers in Sana'a, Yemen, Dec. 17, 2015.

Yemen's government has reversed a decision to expel a U.N. human rights envoy after the original announcement caused an unnecessary "fuss," according to a letter from the Yemeni mission to the United Nations.

The foreign ministry had declared the representative of the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), George Abu al-Zulof, persona non grata on Thursday over what it called unfair statements.

"Because of the fuss created around the matter and caused by media reports... the Yemeni government has decided to give more time to review the relationship with the OHCHR, in order to uphold the values of human rights," said the letter from Yemen's U.N. mission to Ban, seen by Reuters on Saturday.

"For more cooperation between the government of Yemen and all organs and bodies of the United Nations, the government has decided to maintain the status quo of the country representative of the OHCHR representative in Yemen," it said.

The letter was dated Friday.

A senior Yemeni official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that the reversal came in response to an appeal from Ban to Yemen's government.