US should not curb aid to Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, says Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a news conference at the State Department in Washington, US, March 15, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 16 March 2019
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US should not curb aid to Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, says Pompeo

WASHINGTON:  The Trump administration opposes curbs on American assistance to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday.

“The way to alleviate the Yemeni people’s suffering isn’t to prolong the conflict by handicapping our partners in the fight, but by giving the Saudi-led coalition the support needed to defeat the Iranian-backed rebels and ensure a just peace,” Pompeo said at a news conference in Washington.

His remarks came two days after the US Senate voted to end American support for the war against Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen.

The White House has already threatened a veto, calling the Senate vote “flawed” and saying it would harm relations with Saudi Arabia and hinder Washington’s ability to fight extremism.

Salman Al-Ansari, founder of the Saudi American Public Relation Affairs Committee (SAPRAC), welcomed Pompeo’s stance.

“Pompeo said nothing but the facts with regard to Yemen and the danger posed by Iranian proxies,” said Al-Ansari. The Saudi-led coalition is in Yemen to enforce UN Security Council resolution 2216, which “clearly states that the Houthis should put down their arms and hand the occupied territories over to the legitimate government of Yemen,” he said.

The “internal political polarization” in the US is very dangerous, Al-Ansari said. “The US political fabric, from the right to the left, should seek a more balanced and realistic view of the challenges in the Middle East, and fully support Saudi efforts to eradicate terrorism at its roots,” Al-Ansari said.

It is unfortunate that some members of the US Congress are “somehow siding with a group that raises the banner of ‘Death to America,’” Al-Ansari said.

“This sends a very dangerous signal to non-state actors, such as the Houthis, that they have immunity despite their terrorist activities.”


Egyptian voters urged to allow El-Sissi rule until 2030

Updated 17 min 53 sec ago
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Egyptian voters urged to allow El-Sissi rule until 2030

  • Egyptian officials said the results should be ready in a week after the elections
  • Opposition parties asked voters to refuse the suggested changes

CAIRO: Egyptian pro-government media are urging a "Yes" vote on the second day of a nationwide referendum that would allow President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to stay in power until 2030.
Polls reopened at 0700 GMT on Sunday. Voting will continue through Monday to allow maximum turnout, which the government hopes will lend the referendum legitimacy.
Election officials say results are expected within a week.
Opposition parties have called on voters to reject the changes, blasted by critics as a major step back to authoritarianism.
Voting comes amid an unprecedented crackdown on dissent since the 2013 military ouster of an elected but divisive president.
El-Sisi came to power in 2014 and was re-elected for a second four-year term last year.
Trucks with loudspeakers drove around central Cairo Sunday morning urging high turnout.