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Yemen President calls for international support

British Minister of State for the Department of International Development, Alistair Burt (L) and Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi

Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi yesterday called for the relaunch of the Friends of Yemen support organisation, Okaz Press reported.

In a meeting with British Minister of State for the Department of International Development, Alistair Burt, Hadi explained his eagerness for peace and the relaunch of group which was set up in 2010 to help bolster international political support for Yemen and to assist Yemeni-led efforts to tackle the underlying causes of instability.

Friends of Yemen is an association of 39 countries launched to provide international political support for the stability of Yemen. It is coordinated by the UK, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. There have been four ministerial meetings with Friends of Yemen, the last was held on September 2012.

Burt highlighted the UK’s support for Hadi and peace in Yemen.

“We welcome and continue to welcome the efforts of peace and the latest proposal of the UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed on the port of Hudaydah and Sana’a International Airport,” Hadi said.

A coalition of Arab states led by Saudi Arabia was invited by Hadi to support his government from threats by the Iranian backed Houthi group. The Houthis expanded their territorial gains from the northern city of Saada to the country’s capital, Sana’a, in September 2014.

The UK has come under immense criticism due to its continued sale of arms to the Sauid-led coalition which has been accused of war crimes in Yemen. The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) launched a judicial review on the UK government’s decision to continue arms exports to Saudi Arabia despite the rising civilian casualty rate in Yemen. The British High Court ruled that it was lawful to export weapons to Saudi Arabia, despite claims of Saudi Arabia violating the law of war.

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