JEDDAH: The US, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the UK issued have strongly condemned the Houthi’s “illegal interference” in Yemen’s banks.
The Economic Quartet Committee on Yemen met in Riyadh on Tuesday to discuss the challenges facing the central bank and the broader economic and humanitarian situation.
“In light of recent reports of illegal interference in the operations of a number of local banks in Sana'a and the arrests of banking staff, the four nations strongly condemn these and other illegal acts carried out by the Houthis that pose a threat to civilians and the economy of Yemen,’ the quartet’s ambassadors said in a joint statement.
My Saudi, Emirati and US colleagues and I met yesterday to discuss how we can best support the Yemeni economy. We issued this statement condemning illegal Houthi interference in the operations of a number of banks in Sana’a pic.twitter.com/W0gs9yA9Lr— Michael Aron (@HMAMichaelAron) February 12, 2019
“The four nations firmly request lifting the imposed regulations on the local banks in Sanaa, which impede commercial imports and desperately needed humanitarian assistance.”
The quartet also called for the stabilizing of the Yemeni Riyal and strengthening Yemen's economy by “consolidating revenues, paying all public salaries, and continuing to strengthen the Central Bank of Yemen.”
Since the Iran-backed Houthis seized Sanaa in 2014, sparking the war, they have been accused of squandering state funds and mismanaging finances in the areas they control.
The internationally recognized government moved the central bank to Aden in 2016, accusing the Houthis of losing $4 billion of bank reserves on the conflict.
Mohammed bin Saeed Al-Jaber, the Saudi ambassador to Yemen who chaired Tuesday’s meeting, said the central bank and the country’s battered economy will benefit from a stimulus package.
The meeting was held at the headquarters of the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen on Monday.
The UAE and Saudi Arabia, both members of the military coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen, and the UK and US are expected to discuss Yemen and a ceasefire deal in Hodeidah at the Middle East summit in Warsaw that starts on Wednesday.