I welcome yesterday’s announcement by the Saudi-led Coalition that Hodeidah port will now be open for both humanitarian and commercial supplies, including fuel and food. This critical and commendable step has been made in the face of continued provocation and aggression from Houthi forces, and will help ensure the Yemeni people get the supplies and assistance they so desperately need.
It is essential that all parties to the conflict in Yemen allow complete and unhindered commercial and humanitarian access. We remain deeply concerned by continued barriers to delivery imposed by the Houthi rebels.
I was appalled that the Houthis fired another ballistic missile at Riyadh on 19 December, and that they boasted the target was the Royal Palace. This is the second such incident in six weeks, which yet again deliberately targeted a populated area. Such attacks threaten regional security and prolong the conflict in Yemen and I call upon all those with influence over the Houthis to get them to stop.
The UK will continue to support efforts to strengthen implementation of the UN arms embargo and address Saudi Arabia’s legitimate security concerns, and strongly supports the UN’s investigations into the origins of the missiles.
Recent developments only serve to underline the need for a political solution to the conflict. The Yemeni parties must engage constructively and in good faith with each other and the UN to overcome obstacles and restart dialogue. The UK will continue to lead international efforts in support of a political solution.