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US, Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK express concern over escalating tensions in Middle East : Joint Statment

Ahram Online , Monday 24 Jun 2019
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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States express their concern over escalating tensions in the region and the dangers posed by Iranian destabilising activity to peace and security both in Yemen and the broader region, including attacks on the oil tankers at Fujairah on 12 May and in the Gulf of Oman on 13 June.

"These attacks threaten the international waterways that we all rely on for shipping. Ships and their crews must be allowed to pass through international waters safely" the four countries said of the Gulf incidents.

“We call on Iran to halt any further actions which threaten regional stability, and urge diplomatic solutions to de-escalate tensions,” said the statement released by the US on Monday as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Saudi Arabian and Emirati leaders.

"We further note with concern the recent escalation in Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia using Iranian made and facilitated missiles and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. In particular, we condemn the Houthi attack on Abha civilian airport on 12 June, which injured 26 civilians. We express full support for Saudi Arabia and call for an immediate end to such attacks by the Iranian-backed Houthis."

The four countries express concern that the World Food Program has been forced to suspend food deliveries to Sanaa due to Houthi interference in aid delivery.

"We call on the Houthis to immediately end all restrictions on aid agencies to ensure the delivery of life-saving assistance to those Yemenis most in need"  they said.

"We reiterate our commitment to the Yemeni peace process and relevant Security Council Resolutions, including UNSCR 2216."

"We express our full support for the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. In this regard, we call on the Yemeni parties to engage constructively with the Special Envoy to accelerate implementation of the agreements reached in Stockholm. We call on the Houthis to facilitate full and unhindered access for UNMHA, UNDP and UNVIM." the statment said.

Adding "We call on the Yemeni parties to participate constructively in the joint Redeployment Coordination Committee to accelerate implementation of the Hodeidah Agreement, which includes agreeing the Concept of Operations and tripartite monitoring, as well as engaging constructively on local security issues."

"We call on the Houthis to withdraw fully from the ports of Hodeidah, Ras Issa and Saleef. We look to the Security Council to review progress when they meet on 17 July," The statement concluded.

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