Yemen humanitarian operation explained at Saudi meeting

Saudi led coalition spokesman Turki Al-Malki gives a press conference at the King Salman Airbase in Riyadh on November 5, 2017. (File Photo: AFP)
Updated 24 January 2018
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Yemen humanitarian operation explained at Saudi meeting

RIYADH: The Saudi Ambassador to Yemen and the Spokesman of Arab Coalition Forces Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen outlined the humanitarian operation there at a meeting at the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.
Ambassador Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber, who is also Director of Comprehensive Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen, and Col. Turki Al-Malki met in the presence of a number of ambassadors and members of the diplomatic corps to explain the humanitarian needs of the Yemeni people and the delivery of shipments and oil derivatives to all Yemen regions, including Sana’a and Hodeidah.
Among the most important goals of the plan was consideration of the threat posed by Iranian-backed Houthi coup militias to the security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the countries of the region and the waterways of international trade. The Houthi militias had fired more than 250 ballistic missiles, more than 80 of them targeting the Kingdom.
They added that humanitarian contributions amounted to more than $900 million, including direct and indirect aid to Yemeni displaced people and joint programs with the Yemeni government worth more than $8 billion.
The comprehensive humanitarian plan for Yemen includes delivering four mobile cranes for the World Food Programme (WFP) and installing them in Hodeidah port. The plans aim to increase the capacity of the Yemeni ports and to make Yemen capable of receiving imports amounting to 1.4 million metric tons per month compared to 1.1 million metric tons per month in 2017.
It also aims to increase the capacity of the Yemeni ports in Aden, Mukalla and Mokha to 500,000 metric tons per month of oil derivatives as soon as possible, up from 250,000 metric tons per month in 2017.
They said that they plan to increase capacity in these ports by installing four mobile cranes, two in Mokha and one in Aden and Makala, in addition to other logistics’ projects in these ports, such as power generators and warehouses.
Jazan port will be used to receive goods because of its proximity to northern Yemen. The comprehensive humanitarian operation includes establishing an airlift in Marib to deliver key humanitarian aid and medical assistance by C-130 aircraft carriers through three border crossings from Saudi Arabia to Yemen, namely Al-Tuwal, to serve the Hajjah governorate of Yemen and Khadra to serve the governorates of Saada, Al-Jawf and Al- Wadi’ah.
The coalition will establish safe corridors to ensure delivery and distribution of aid and shipments to all Yemeni regions, to be used by United Nations agencies and other humanitarian organizations, they said, pointing out that the coalition will also allow the entry of fuel shipments, food shipments and humanitarian shipments to Hodeidah port for a month.
If the Houthi militias continue to refuse the plan, the port of Hodeidah will remain open exclusively for shipments of humanitarian aid, relief, medical supplies, and trade food shipments, they said.
These measures will also be applied to the port of Salib, as the fuel and non-food cargoes would be transferred to other cities, including Sana’a, Hodeidah and other areas, through safe corridors. The coalition will bear the cost of delivering to Houthi- controlled areas, maintaining the previous price level.
They said that Saudi Arabia will provide oil derivatives to Yemen to support the economy and alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people. The coalition will provide the Central Bank of Yemen with a deposit to maintain control of the exchange rates and improve the living conditions of the Yemeni people.


Yemen FM: No peace before Houthi disarmament

The Arab coalition is striving to rebuild the humanity destroyed by the Houthis, says Yemen’s Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani. File/Getty Images
Updated 26 May 2018
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Yemen FM: No peace before Houthi disarmament

  • Alongside military operations, the coalition is undertaking humanitarian work to “rebuild the humanity destroyed by the Houthis
  • The Houthis’ “weapons and missiles must be handed over, and there is no room for dialogue or negotiation about them

LONDON: There cannot be peace in Yemen unless Houthi militias abandon their arms, said the country’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani.

The internationally recognized government will not allow Iran, which backs the Houthis, to maintain a foothold in Yemen or interfere in its internal affairs, he added.
“This terrorist regime” in Tehran, “which supplies terrorist militias all over the world, is close to collapse as a result of international and popular pressure by the Iranian people, who are suffering as their terrorist state spends billions here and there for a foolish expansionist idea,” Al-Yamani said.
“The modern and civilized world that respects international law cannot accept the existence of a state sponsor of terrorism and all subversive and terrorist militias in the region,” he added.
“If Iran wants to be part of the social, cultural and political fabric of our region, it must rationalize its behavior.” Its “terrorist behavior… encourages the spread of violence in the region,” he said.
Al-Yamani added that he will start his tenure as foreign minister by focusing on negotiations and the efforts of the UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths.
The government is working round the clock with the envoy’s office so he can present his ideas on June 7 after consultations with the government, Al-Yamani said.
There will be meetings in the next few days with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and a special meeting with the negotiating team, all within the framework of the envoy’s efforts in the region, Al-Yamani added.
Griffiths has visited several countries in the region, and has met with Yemen’s government and the leadership of the Saudi-led Arab coalition.
The Houthis “suggest that political arrangements should come before security and military arrangements,” said Al-Yamani.
But “the coup against the state in January 2015 came as a result of the preference of political over security arrangements,” he added.
“And after the Houthis achieved their goals, they turned against the national consensus reflected in the peace and partnership agreement, under which the president provided facilities to save the homeland from the fate we have reached today,” Al-Yamani said.
“We cannot talk about any political arrangements because we consider them to be a foregone conclusion if we achieve the withdrawal and delivery of heavy and medium weapons and missiles,” he added. “We cannot retry something we tried before... The coup must end.”
The Houthis’ “weapons and missiles must be handed over, and there is no room for dialogue or negotiation about them,” he said. “Heavy and medium weapons should be handed over, and those militias must be withdrawn.”
Al-Yamani criticized Iran’s ambassador to the UN for speaking in dovish language while his country causes destruction in Yemen.
“Most of what we have been able to remove of the mines planted by the Houthis had the trademark of Iranian industry,” Al-Yamani said.
“Even if we achieve peace today, we will need decades to demine... There will be no possibility of safe living in the areas where mines were planted.”
Al-Yamani expressed the gratitude of his government and people for the Saudi-led coalition’s support for the government to achieve security and peace in Yemen and the whole region.
Alongside military operations, the coalition is undertaking humanitarian work to “rebuild the humanity destroyed by the Houthis, rebuild the Yemeni psyche destroyed by the war, distribute goods throughout Yemen, and reconstruct what was destroyed by the Houthi war machine,” he said.
“All this confirms that the project of restoring the state… is the project of life,” which is “opposed to the project of death brought by Iran and its Houthi militias to Yemen,” he added.
This interview is simultaneously published in Asharq Al-Awsat.