Saudi general in charge of Yemen campaign speaks to euronews

Saudi general in charge of Yemen campaign speaks to euronews
By Robert Hackwill
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General Ahmed Assiri insists Saudi Arabia's only objective in Yemen is to "restore stability".


A round table discussion in Paris on Middle Eastern security has seen a speech by the commander-in-chief of the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

General Ahmed Assiri insisted Saudi Arabia's only aim was to bring stability to Yemen.

"The agreement that we have with our friends in Washington is that we will continue to work together for the stability of the region against what terrorist groups, extremists or those countries who have ideologies that they export beyond their borders. We need to implement the international law, respect soverignity of countries, respect internal, domestic isssues for countries and work between countries as states," he said.

"This is a fight that has been going on now for three years, we are talking about 10.000 people killed, three million deplaced, millions suffering of disease. Why is this conflict dragging on since even the crown prince said that Iran is not a rival to Saudi Arabia?" asks eurionews' Anelise Borges Andrade.

"This is once again why we work against countries who work through militias, this is the result of working with militias and we need the international community to feel this pressure. Areas that continue to admit militias intp a country will drag other countries in as a result," he insisted.

The UN has called the situation in Yemen the world's worst humanitarian disaster, and yet this is a war that is all-but-forgotten, sitting as it does on the fringes of the Great Power concerns.

Saudi Arabia has said it will work with the UN in restoring stability in the Middle East countries caught up in political turmoil and under Jihadist threats, so that they don't become failed states.

General Ahmed Assiri added that Yemen is the "supreme interest" for Saudi Arabia. Assiri said Saudi Arabic will not allow Yemen be controlled by a militia and it will not accept that another Hezbollah comes to power in Yemen. Saudi Arabia will reinstate what he called the legitimate state institutions of Yemen.

On recent discussions with the United States Assiri said the issue of Qatar hadn't even been discussed with Trump because “Qatar is not important enough”.  Anelise Borges Andrade challenged this, saying he had just spoken about the importance of stability in the region and that stability was contingent upon finding a solution with Qatar. He repeated “the issue is not important enough for these kinds of meetings”.

He added Saudi Arabia was targeting raising 1.5 billion dollars of aid for Yemen once the war was won,

to ease population’s suffering.

"We want to restore security and stability in the region, reinstall the legitimate gouvernment , push militias to come back to roundtable.  We will not accept another Hezbollah in Yemen. The state institutions did not disappear. Our international vision is to work with all countries and the UN, except one: we cannot cooperate with Iran," he said.

Assiri was with the crown prince in the states last week where they got Trump's support for the offensive against Iran, for their operation in Yemen and the rest.

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