Press release

Foreign Secretary travels to the Gulf to push for end to Yemen bloodshed

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt will visit Saudi Arabia and the UAE today [Monday 12 November] to press for an end to the bloodshed in Yemen.

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In the Gulf he will meet King Salman of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of Abu Dhabi, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen and Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled Al Yamani. The Foreign Secretary is seeking to build support among international, and particularly regional, partners for new action in the UN Security Council to bolster the UN-led peace process, following his meeting with UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths at the end of October.

The Foreign Secretary will be the first UK Minister to visit Saudi Arabia since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi one month ago. He will use his meetings to make clear the importance of Saudi Arabia cooperating with Turkey to conduct a full and credible investigation into Mr Khashoggi’s death. This will build on talks that the Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Simon McDonald, also had this weekend in Saudi Arabia with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

While in the UAE the Foreign Secretary will also raise the ongoing consular case of Matthew Hedges.

Speaking ahead of his visit Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

The human cost of war in Yemen is incalculable: with millions displaced, famine and disease rife and years of bloodshed, the only solution is now a political decision to set aside arms and pursue peace. Britain has a unique position, both as pen-holder at the UN Security Council and as a key influencer in the region, so today I am travelling to the Gulf to demand that all sides commit to this process.

We are witnessing a man-made humanitarian catastrophe on our watch: now is the window to make a difference, and to get behind both the UN peace process and current UK efforts in the Security Council.

In addition, he will call on the Saudi authorities to do more to deliver justice and accountability for the Khashoggi family:

The international community remain united in horror and outrage at the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi one month ago. It is clearly unacceptable that the full circumstances behind his murder still remain unclear. We encourage the Saudi authorities to co-operate fully with the Turkish investigation into his death, so that we deliver justice for his family and the watching world.

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Published 12 November 2018