Mattis tells Saudi Crown Prince: Urgent need to find end to Yemen’s war

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Photo showing Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon. (SPA)
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Photo showing Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman being received by Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon. (SPA)
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Photo showing Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman being received by Defense Secretary James Mattis at the Pentagon. (Al-Ekhbariya)
Updated 22 March 2018
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Mattis tells Saudi Crown Prince: Urgent need to find end to Yemen’s war

WASHINGTON: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Thursday said Saudi Arabia was “part of the solution” in Yemen, where the Saudis are leading a US-supported military campaign against Houthi rebels.
Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was an urgent need to find a political solution to Yemen’s war, as he voiced hope for a UN special envoy’s peace efforts.

“We must also reinvigorate urgent efforts to seek a peaceful resolution to the civil war in Yemen and we support you in this regard,” Mattis said, offering his firm backing to Riyadh.
Asked by reporters at the start of his talks whether he would raise the issue of civilian casualties in Yemen, Mattis said: “We are going to end this war, that is the bottom line. And we are going to end it on positive terms for the people of Yemen but also security for the nations in the peninsula.”
Mattis spoke at the start of a Pentagon meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is on a three-week US visit.

Earlier this week the Senate debated and then shelved a resolution calling for an end to US support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Mattis had opposed the measure, saying it would be counterproductive by increasing civilian casualties, jeopardizing counterterrorism cooperation and emboldening Iran to increase its support for Houthi rebels.

During the photo-taking session with the crown prince, Mattis was asked by a reporter whether he would raise concerns about casualties in Yemen. Mattis said the US is working with the UN’s new envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths of Britain, in pursuit of a political solution to the civil war in Yemen.
“We believe that Saudi Arabia is part of the solution,” Mattis said. He added: “They have stood by the United Nations-recognized government, and we are going to end this war. That is the bottom line. And we are going to end it on positive terms for the people of Yemen but also security for the nations in the peninsula.”
In prepared remarks, Mattis said the US has a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia in fighting extremists and deterring malign activities by Iran. He said a political settlement in Yemen would protect Saudi Arabia and deny safe haven to terrorists.
“Your significant amounts of humanitarian aid is critical to help the innocent caught up in this conflict (and) we applaud you for that,” he told the crown prince.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that the meeting between the Saudi Crown Prince and Mattis discussed their countries’ strategic cooperation and means to improve bilateral relations according to Saudi  vision 2030. The two leaders also reviewed their efforts to combat terrorism and extremism, as well as ways to improve secutrity and stability in the Middle East region.

 


US vice president Mike Pence accuses Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism

Updated 18 min 19 sec ago
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US vice president Mike Pence accuses Iran of Nazi-like anti-Semitism

AUSCHWITZ, Poland: US Vice President Mike Pence accused Iran on Friday of anti-Semitism akin to the Nazis following his visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland that had strengthened his resolve to act against Tehran.
"We have the regime in Tehran that's breathing out murderous threats, with the same vile anti-Semitic hatred that animated the Nazis in Europe," Pence told reporters on Air Force Two before landing in Munich.
He said that being in Auschwitz had made him reflect to "strengthen the resolve of the free world to oppose that kind of vile hatred and to confront authoritarian threats of our time."
His comments at the former Nazi concentration camp came a day after he said Iran was the “greatest threat to peace and security in the Middle East” at a conference on the region taking place in Warsaw.
Pence accused Washington's European allies of trying to break US sanctions against Tehran and called on them to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal.
"Sadly, some of our leading European partners have not been nearly as cooperative. In fact, they have led the effort to create mechanisms to break up our sanctions," Pence said.
Pence added that his country will keep a strong presence in the Middle East, continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with allies, and work with coalition partners to defeat Daesh to make the region safe for peace and prosperity.
He also said that there are winds of change happening in the region, with the recent historic visit of Pope Francis to the UAE and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Oman.