Saudi Arabia’s King Salman invites UN chief to Ethiopia, Eritrea peace summit

Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attend a concert in Addis Ababa, after signing an initial declaration of peace, in July. (Reuters)
Updated 14 September 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman invites UN chief to Ethiopia, Eritrea peace summit

  • The two countries, 20 years after commencing what turned into a protracted border war, announced a cessation of hostilities two months ago
  • Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will host the signing ceremony in Jeddah to be attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has invited UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to attend the signing of the peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea in Jeddah, according to Al-Arabiya.
The two countries, 20 years after commencing what turned into a protracted border war, announced a cessation of hostilities two months ago.
Ethiopia and Eritrea will attend the summit in Saudi Arabia on Sunday to sign an agreement cementing the thaw between the two former Horn of Africa enemies, a UN spokesman said Friday.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman will host the signing ceremony in Jeddah to be attended by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and African Union Commission chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.
UN spokesman Farhan Haq did not provide details, saying the Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders would sign a “further agreement helping to cement the positive relations between them.”
On Tuesday, the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea reopened two land border crossing points for the first time in 20 years, clearing the way for trade between the two nations.
Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki signed a declaration of peace in July that formally ended two decades of hostility.
Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia in the early 1990s, and war broke out later that decade over a border dispute.
A 2002 UN-backed boundary demarcation was meant to settle the dispute for good, but Ethiopia refused to abide by it.
A turnaround began in June when Abiy announced that Ethiopia would hand back to Eritrea the disputed areas including the flashpoint town of Badme where the first shots of the border war were fired.


Al-Jubeir: Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, said Saudi Arabia's foreign minister. (AFP)
Updated 16 November 2018
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Al-Jubeir: Saudi-led coalition ‘working with UN to end Yemen conflict’

  • Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, says Saudi FM
  • Al-Jubeir: Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict

RIYADH: The Saudi-led coalition is working with UN envoy Martin Griffith to reach a political solution to the conflict in Yemen based on UN Security Council resolution 2216, the Gulf Initiative and the outcomes of Yemeni national dialogue, the Saudi foreign minister said on Thursday. 

“Since day one, we said that the solution… is a political solution, and the solution should lead to the restoration of legitimacy in Yemen,” said Adel Al-Jubeir.

“We support a peaceful solution in Yemen. We support the efforts of the UN envoy for the Yemeni cause,” he added.

“We are committed to providing all humanitarian support to our brothers there. We are also working on the post-war reconstruction of Yemen.” The Kingdom supports the envoy’s efforts to hold negotiations at the end of November, added Al-Jubeir.

Saudi Arabia is the largest provider of humanitarian aid to Yemen, providing more than $13 billion since the start of the conflict, he said.

In contrast, Houthi militias are imposing restrictions on Yemeni cities and villages, leading to starvation, he added. 

They are also seizing humanitarian aid and preventing Yemenis from getting cholera vaccinations, Al-Jubeir said. 

The Houthis fire ballistic missiles indiscriminately at Saudi Arabia, use children as fighters and plant mines across Yemen, he added. 

The Houthis should engage in the political process and respond to the will of the international community to end the war and end the coup against the legitimate government, he said.

Saudi Arabia did not want the conflict in Yemen; it was imposed on the Kingdom, Al-Jubeir added. 

Saudi Arabia worked with other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member states to develop the Gulf Initiative. 

This led to a transition from former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to the internationally recognized government headed by current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Kingdom also worked to develop Yemeni national dialogue that led to a Yemeni vision regarding the country’s future.

A new Yemeni constitution was about to be drafted when the Houthis seized much of the country, including the capital. 

Yemen’s legitimate government requested support, and the Saudi-led coalition responded under Article 51 of the UN Charter.