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Tillerson to Saudi: Be careful in your foreign policy

December 8, 2017 at 7:44 pm

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the the President Trumps proposed 2018 budget for the State Department in Washington, USA on 13 June, 2017 [Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency]

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson today urged Saudi Arabia to be more “measured” in its actions.

“With respect to Saudi Arabia’s engagement with Qatar, how they’re handling the Yemen war that they’re engaged in, the Lebanon situation, we would encourage them to be a bit more measured and a bit more thoughtful in those actions to, I think, fully consider the consequences,” he said.

Speaking in Paris, Tillerson demanded a “complete end” to the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen so that humanitarian aid and commercial supplies could be delivered.

This repeated demand comes weeks after the Kingdom closed all air, sea and land access to war torn level exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis.

Read: UN: 230 killed in last six days in Yemen

In addition to this, since the weekend Saudi Arabia has increased its air raids campaign across Sana’a with officials in Yemen announcing that at least 23 civilians have been killed in the north of the country.

Riyadh is leading a coalition of Arab states which began launching air strikes in Yemen in March 2015 to restore to power internationally backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was driven from the capital in 2014 by Houthi fighters and militias allied with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saleh severed ties with the Houthis on 2 December; he was killed by the group two days later.