RIYADH: The European Union is applying pressure for a ceasefire in Yemen and to stop the attacks on Saudi Arabia, an EU official said Sunday, adding that Houthi assaults on the Kingdom violated international law.
“The EU countries are Saudi Arabia’s largest strategic partner,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles said during a press conference in Riyadh with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan. “We fully support a peaceful settlement in Yemen. The European Union supports Saudi Arabia’s efforts to end the crisis in Yemen.”
Prince Faisal confirmed “the seriousness” of the Houthi militia’s practices in Yemen and that Saudi Arabia was in discussion with the US on reaching a solution in the war-torn country.
“The danger is the Houthi militia’s continuation to bet on military options in Yemen,” the Saudi minister said, adding that the Houthis continued to violate ceasefire initiatives.
The two men also discussed the Iranian nuclear deal.
“We are deeply concerned about Iranian transgressions, which contradict Iran's declarations of the peaceful nature of its nuclear program,” Prince Faisal said. He reiterated Saudi Arabia’s position in support of efforts to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
The foreign minister said talks with Iran were still in their “exploratory stage,” and that Saudi Arabia hoped to “lay a basis for addressing the outstanding issues between the two parties.”
The EU official also met the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir. They reviewed relations between the Kingdom and the bloc and ways to develop them.
The Saudi Press Agency reported that the two sides exchanged views on regional and international developments of common interest.
Borrell started his visit to Saudi Arabia by meeting with Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, secretary general of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
He tweeted that the meeting aimed to make the partnership between the EU and the Gulf Cooperation Council more strategic, and to work together on stability in the region and on the issues of climate and trade.
“Our partnership spans over three decades and is built on mutual trust and common interests,” Borrell said.
Al-Hajraf stressed the importance of supporting international efforts to end the war in Yemen through the political track, according to a statement from the council.