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London Meeting Stresses Need to Prevent Arms Smuggling to Yemen

London Meeting Stresses Need to Prevent Arms Smuggling to Yemen

Wednesday, 29 November, 2017 - 06:45
Participants in the meeting of the International Quartet Committee on Yemen, London (Photo: UK Foreign Office website)

The International Quartet Committee on the Yemeni crisis underlined the need to strengthen inspection mechanisms to prevent arms smuggling to Yemen, while ensuring unrestricted movement of goods and safe and rapid access to relief materials throughout the country.

The meeting, which was held in London, gathered the foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, Britain and the United Arab Emirates and the US Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in the presence of Omani Foreign Minister.

Participants underlined that the provision of weapons to the Houthi militias and forces loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh was a violation of Security Council Resolutions 2216 and 2231, while expressing their support to the UN efforts to investigate the sources of rockets fired on Saudi Arabia and take the appropriate action in this regard.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the ministers condemned the rocket attack on Riyadh in November, which deliberately targeted a civilian area, stressing their full support for Saudi Arabia’s right to defend its security.

They also pointed out that such acts represented a threat to regional security and would further prolong the ongoing conflict.

Calling for the need to double efforts to reach a political solution, the Quartet foreign ministers reiterated that Houthi and Saleh militias should recognize the importance of involving UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed in the political process, and abandon escalating measures.

Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that Yemen was in dire need of urgent humanitarian assistance from regional and international communities.

The Secretary General’s spokesman, Mohammed Afifi noted that the armed conflict in Yemen has caused a “humanitarian crisis amid ongoing deterioration in living conditions,” blaming the Houthis for the major destruction in the country.

“The time has come for the Houthis, and those who are having an alliance with them, to realize that they are destroying the country [Yemen] and causing suffering for millions of innocent Yemenis.

The Houthis are responsible for the deterioration Yemen has reached on all levels because of their intransigence and refusal of all compromises that were suggested to settle the conflict and lead Yemen to avoid the ongoing war," Afifi said.

He also expressed Aboul Gheit’s firm belief that solving the crisis should be the highest priority for the international community.

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