Yemen's foreign minister says the opposition movement's refusal to accept the results of the 2006 presidential elections are to blame for the country's current crisis _ one that could escalate into a civil war.

Abu Bakr al-Qirbi also told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that President Ali Abdullah Saleh is committed to a U.S.-backed Gulf Cooperation Council initiative as a means to ending the crisis in the beleaguered nation that has left hundreds dead.

Al-Qirbi says Saleh's government is committed to democracy and reform, but the opposition has co-opted the youth-driven protests as a way of trying to oust Saleh after he won a resounding victory in the 2006 elections.

He says the violence and unrest threatens to spark a civil war in the country.