Top diplomats rally behind KSA on Yemen

Updated 27 March 2015

Top diplomats rally behind KSA on Yemen

Top foreign diplomats stationed in Riyadh representing Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa have lent their strong support to the military effort of the Arab world led by Saudi Arabia to end the widespread instability and chaos in Yemen. The diplomats here Thursday also reaffirmed the need for a broad international military alliance, that may eventually emerge to counter Houthi rebel advances.
The diplomats said that a large number of countries were prepared to commit troops for a ground assault as Saudi Arabia began pounding the Houthi militants in Yemen with airstrikes. “The United States coordinates closely with Saudi Arabia and our GCC partners on issues related to their security and our shared interests,” said Stewart Wight, a spokesman of the US Embassy, here Thursday.
“In support of GCC actions to defend against Houthi violence, US President Barack Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC-led military operations,” said Wight , while referring to the establishment of a ‘Joint Planning Cell’ with Saudi Arabia to coordinate US support. Matthew Tueller, US ambassador to Yemen, is also currently in Jeddah, confirmed Kate Osterloh, a public diplomacy officer at the US embassy here.
Asked about the UK position, Nicola Woodget, a spokeswoman of the British embassy, said that Britain had supported the Kingdom on the question of Yemen. Quoting a foreign ministry statement, Woodget said that “we supported the Saudi military intervention in Yemen following President Hadi’s request for support by all means and measures to protect Yemen and deter Houthi aggression.”
Another close Saudi ally, Turkey has also strongly supported the Saudi air strike on advancing Houthi militants. Turkish Ambassador Yunus Demirer said that “Ankara supports the operation led by Saudi Arabia in Yemen against the Houthi movement on the request of the legitimately elected President Hadi.” “We believe that this operation will prevent the threat of civil war and chaos in Yemen and restore the legitimate state authority,” added Demirer.
“Turkey strongly condemns the continuation of the unilateral actions by the Houthi militias, who have refused to withdraw from Sanaa and government institutions by rejecting the UN Security Council Resolution No. 2201, besides all agreements concluded in Yemen and also the military operation they launched to capture Aden,” said a statement released by Turkey and distributed by the Turkish embassy Thursday.
A statement released by the embassy of France here said that “France reiterates its support to the government of Yemen led by President Hadi. France also strongly condemns acts of destabilization by the Houthi rebellion and called on all those who support the insurgency to leave him off and to return to the political process. Faced with this alarming situation, France stands by its partners in the region to restore stability and unity of Yemen.”
While supporting the joint operations against the rebels, Sri Lankan Ambassador Mohamed Hussein Mohammed said that terror should not be allowed to raise its ugly head in any country as it happens in the case of strife-torn Yemen. “Such rebel activities could affect peace and stability in the region,” he said, recalling that his country has been a victim of terrorism for more than 30 years.
Speaking about his country’s position on Yemen, Uruguayan Ambassador Carlos Mora: “We follow closely the developments in Yemen and we hope that the situation can be solved quickly because any escalation of the civil war could lead to consequences adversely affecting the region. “We are for peace, dialogue, stability, and eventually progress and prosperity for Yemen and Yemeni people,” said Greek Ambassador Ioannis Christofilis.

With inputs from M. Rasooldeen & Rodolfo Estimo

Saudi Arabia denies Israeli media reports on meeting between chiefs of staff

Updated 14 min 13 sec ago

Saudi Arabia denies Israeli media reports on meeting between chiefs of staff

  • The official said the correct information is that Al-Ruwaili has participated in an international meeting for Defense Chiefs of Staff held in Washington
  • No bilateral meeting had took place between the Saudi and Israeli Chiefs of Staff, he added

JEDDAH: A Saudi defense ministry official has denied reports circulated on Israeli media claiming that a meeting was held between the Saudi military Chief of Staff, Gen. Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, and his Israeli counterpart Gadi Eizenkot.

The official said the correct information is that Al-Ruwaili participated in an international meeting for Defense Chiefs of Staff held in Washington, United States at the Andrews Air Force Base.

Eighty-one countries took part in the meeting held between Oct. 15-16 aimed at discussing ways to combat violent terror groups.

The meeting also included an official dinner for all attendees hosted by the his excellency the Chairman of the US Joints Chief of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford. It was followed by a conference at the Andrews Air Force Base.

The official said no bilateral meeting took place between the Saudi and Israeli Chiefs of Staff.