The interior ministers of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf States called on the Shia Al-Houthi group in Yemen to return all headquarters and official institutions to the Yemeni government, saying that their countries "will not stand idly by in the face of foreign interventions which are of a sectarian nature".
Those in attendance:
- Saudi Interior Minister Mohammed Bin Nayef Bin Abdulaziz (Chair)
- UAE Interior Minister Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan
- Bahraini Interior Minister Rashid Bin Abdullah Al-Khalifa
- Sultanate of Oman Interior Minister Hamoud Bin Faisal Al-Busaidi
- Qatari Interior Minister Abdullah Bin Nasser Bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- Kuwaiti Interior Minister Mohammad Khalid Al Hamad Al-Sabah
- Chief of Saudi General Intelligence, Khalid Bin Bandar Bin Abdulaziz
- Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz
- Saudi Minister of State Musaad Bin Mohammed Al-Aiban
This came during an emergency meeting held by the ministers in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, yesterday evening, to discuss and assess the latest developments in Yemen and the risks and repercussions which may result from them.
Sanaa, Yemen's capital, fell into the hands of Al-Houthi militias on September 21 after the group took control of vital institutions including the ministries and state television and radio channels. This came after weeks of protests by Al-Houthis in which they demanded the government step down and fuel subsidies be reinstated.
Yemen and the Gulf States accused Iran, which has a majority Shia population, of supporting Al-Houthis politically and militarily, a charge denied by Tehran. Gulf countries have often accused Iran of sparking unrest in their capitals with the aim of expanding its sectarian projects, another charge which Tehran denies.
The ministers condemned "the acts which are ongoing in our beloved Yemen by force of arms", and denounced the "looting and domination on the capabilities of the Yemeni people".
They called for "the need to restore all headquarters and official institutions of the state of Yemen and the surrender of all weapons, military equipment and public and private funds that have been looted," according to the Saudi Press Agency.
They said that "the Gulf Cooperation Council of Arab Gulf States will not stand idly in front of foreign interventions which are of a sectarian nature, as Yemen's security and the security of the GCC countries are considered one issue which cannot be separated."