Minister for Middle East condemns attempted missile attacks on Riyadh and Jazan

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Minister for the Middle East and North Africa James Cleverly said:

I strongly condemn the Houthis’ attempted missile attacks on Riyadh and Jazan yesterday. These reckless attacks threatened densely populated civilian areas and commercial infrastructure.

I am appalled that the Houthis have increased missile attacks on Saudi Arabia following the call by the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, for the parties to work urgently towards a political solution to end this horrific conflict. While the Houthis responded positively to this call, their actions tell a different story.

I urge the Houthis to cease such provocations and to engage urgently and constructively with the UN-led peace process.

Background:

  • The UN Secretary General, António Guterres, issued a statement on 25 March, which urged the parties in Yemen to immediately cease hostilities, focus on reaching a negotiated settlement and do everything possible to counter a potential outbreak of COVID-19. This followed Guterres’ call on 24 March for an end to conflicts around the world amid the global COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Foreign Secretary and International Development Secretary issued a joint statement on 26 March to mark the 5th anniversary of the Yemen conflict and to urge the Yemeni parties to engage with the UN-led peace process.
  • The year began with some political progress, including agreement on prisoner exchanges and the first of a series of mercy flights of Yemenis to receive medical treatment abroad. However, recent clashes in Marib Governorate and the prospect of a Houthi offensive in that governorate threaten to undermine progress. The Foreign Secretary visited the region in March and met Yemeni President Hadi to reiterate the UK’s support for the UN-led process. The UK continues to lead on Yemen in the UN Security Council and funds efforts by the UN Special Envoy to ensure the peace process involves marginalised groups, including women and young people.

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