Yemen war not a choice, but imposed: Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister

LONDON, 8th March, 2018 (WAM) -- Saudi Arabia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir has said that the war in Yemen is not a war of a choice for Saudi Arabia, but one that was imposed on the Kingdom.

"This is not a war of our choice, but it was imposed on us," said the Saudi Foreign Minister during a joint press conference in London yesterday, which he held alongside British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, on the sidelines of the current visit of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz to the United Kingdom, reported the Saudi Press Agency, SPA.

Al Jubeir added that the Houthis since the start of the war, have looted more than US$4 billion from banks in Yemen and are "working on smuggling and controlling telecommunications companies in order to finance their war."

The Saudi Minister referred to the Houthi militias as being "non-seriousness in dialogue", saying that although more than 70 meetings were held, the Houthis were "indifferent" in reaching a solution.

Al Jubeir went on to clarify his country's intentions, stressing that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has "no ambitions in Yemen, but the in fact is "the largest provider of humanitarian assistance in Yemen."

The Minister also highlighted the importance of Saudi-UK relations, describing them as "historical" in various fields, adding that the two sides have held "intensive consultations on several issues and challenges that affect stability in the region," added SPA, and emphasised the need to deter Iran and cease its influence and destabilising policies.

He said, "We are working together to strengthen cooperation in other files to present ideas on the Middle East peace process and enhance cooperation in the field of security."

The British Foreign Secretary, in turn, expressed his country's confidence in Saudi Arabia's mission in achieving its mission, noting that his country enjoys historical relations with the Kingdom and that work is underway to enhance security and stability in both countries.

Johnson also confirmed his country's support for the Kingdom in defending its security and commended Saudi Arabia's role in the reconstruction of Yemen, added SPA.

[Image credit: Saudi Press Agency, SPA]


WAM/Rasha Abubaker/Esraa Ismail