Dialogue, Halt to Fighting Crucial to Yemen Peace

The Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen has left some 17 million Yemenis hungry, forced seven million to suffer famine and denied about 16 million from access to water or sanitation
Bahram Qasemi
Bahram Qasemi

Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson said any viable solution to the Yemen crisis would require an end to the devastating war followed by an inclusive dialogue among all Yemeni groups.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran condemned the war within hours after its start, calling for its end. We still believe that there is no military solution to this crisis and will not spare any effort to halt this despicable and bloody war," ISNA also quoted Bahram Qasemi as saying in a statement on Monday.

Qasemi made the statements in response to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir's claim on Sunday that Iran was blocking peace efforts in Yemen.

In a speech in Riyadh addressing foreign ministers and military officials from countries of the Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen, including Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE, Jubeir alleged, "Iran is destroying all attempts to find a solution in Yemen, which has led to the failure of all political negotiations."

Qasemi dismissed Jubeir's claims as "absurd and baseless", saying that Riyadh is trying to evade the burden of responsibility "for the vicious crimes it has committed against the defenseless and impoverished people of Yemen."

In March 2015, the US-backed Saudi-led forces launched a war, against an uprising of Yemen's Houthis that rapidly took control of Yemen's capital and eventually most of the country's cities, in an attempt to reinstall Yemen's fugitive president Abd-Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The United Nations this month placed the coalition on a blacklist over its "killing and maiming of children".

According to UNICEF's latest Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism figures, between March 26, 2015, and March 31, 2017, at least 1,595 children were killed and 2,542 others injured in Yemen. The report blamed the Saudi-led coalition for the majority of these child casualties. The United Nations also said the Saudi war has left some 17 million Yemenis hungry, forced seven million to suffer famine and denied about 16 million from access to water or sanitation.

A cholera outbreak has also claimed more than 2,100 lives since April, as hospitals struggle to secure supplies amid a blockade on ports and the country's main international airport imposed by the coalition, AFP reported.

It is also estimated that more than 13,000 people, a majority of them civilians, have been killed since the onset of the campaign.

Much of the Arab country's civilian infrastructures, including hospitals, schools and factories, have been reduced to rubble due to the war.

Qasemi said the Saudi coalition would be well-advised to stop repeating its mistakes in Yemen, urging it to apologize to the Yemeni people as the first step to make up for its wrong approach.

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