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Europe condemn the ongoing violence in Yemen by Saudi Arab

BRUSSELS: Alarmed by the threat of the world’s largest famine, MEPs call for a political solution to the conflict in Yemen and an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia.

In a resolution widely adopted on Thursday by 539 votes to 13, with 81 abstentions, MEPs condemn the ongoing violence in Yemen and stress that only a political, inclusive and negotiated solution to the conflict can restore peace. They call on all actors to act to de-escalate the conflict and to engage in a new round of UN-led peace negotiations.

They urge EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini to impose an EU arms embargo against Saudi Arabia, given the serious allegations of Saudi Arabia breaching international humanitarian law in Yemen. EU Member States have continued to authorise arms sales to Saudi Arabia since the conflict escalated, in violation of the Council Common Position on arms export controls, adds the adopted text.

Ms Mogherini should urgently propose an integrated EU strategy for Yemen and push again for a Yemeni peace initiative, MEPs call.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to be catastrophic, considered to be the ‘largest food-security emergency in the world’, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO). MEPs urge the Saudi-led coalition to lift the blockade imposed on the country’s land, sea and air borders, which has led to the country deteriorating even further. Aid agencies have warned that, if the blockade is not lifted, Yemen will face the largest famine the world has seen for decades, with millions of victims, MEPs underline. They call for “immediate and full humanitarian access to the conflict-affected areas”.

20.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen, one of the world’s poorest nations, which has been devastated by a civil war between a Saudi-led coalition and the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels for more than two years. While ground fighting continues to rage in parts of the country, the threat of famine is increasing, creating the world’s largest food-security emergency. UN-led peace talks ended in August 2016 with no agreement and have been frozen since then.

 

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