The British government has hosted a meeting with senior officials from Oman, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US to discuss ways to bring peace to Yemen, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has revealed. The meeting on Wednesday was also attended by UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg.
A joint communique said that members of the group — called the Quint — have reiterated the importance of an urgent and comprehensive political solution to the conflict in Yemen. They re-affirmed their support for the UN envoy's efforts to achieve this end, including renewed political talks.
Britain's Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa, James Cleverly MP, said on Twitter that he also met with the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Muhammad Al-Jaber, and discussed the "shared goal of peace and security in Yemen and the region."
Yemen has recently witnessed a military escalation between pro-government forces and the Saudi- led Arab coalition on one side, and the Iran-backed Houthis on the other. The coalition intensified its air strikes against Houthi-controlled sites in several Yemeni governorates, including the capital, Sanaa.
Meanwhile, the Houthis have expanded their cross-border attacks, targeting the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi. The so-called Quint described these as "heinous terrorist attacks". The Houthis insist that the drone attacks were in response to the UAE's "military escalation in Yemen."
The war in Yemen has claimed the lives of more than 233,000 people, and left 80 per cent of the population of 30 million people dependent on aid in what has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.