Kingdom pledges $274m for Yemen


King, Obama stress negotiated political solution for stability

Saudi Arabia, which has been fighting Houthi militias in Yemen since March 26, on Saturday announced $274 million in humanitarian aid for the embattled country.

The pledge, which the SPA said was ordered by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman, came following a UN appeal on Friday for almost $275 million to provide emergency assistance to 7.5 million people in Yemen over the next three months, as fighting intensified in the south.

“In response to the humanitarian needs of the brotherly Yemeni people included in the UN appeal, King Salman has issued an order to allocate an amount of $274 million for humanitarian relief work in Yemen through the UN,” said SPA.

The Kingdom “stands with its Yemeni brothers” and hopes for “the restoration of security and stability,” the SPA said.

Meanwhile, King Salman on Friday called US President Barack Obama to discuss the latest developments in Yemen, SPA reported.

The two leaders agreed that a negotiated political solution was necessary to reach stability in Yemen, a White House statement said.

Obama also underscored the US commitment to Saudi Arabia’s security, the White House said.

The conversation also touched upon the situation in “at the regional and international arenas,” the SPA said.

Separately, Chinese President Xi Jinping told King Salman in a telephone call that efforts should be stepped up to seek a political solution to the crisis in Yemen, China’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

China, a low-key diplomatic player in the Middle East despite its reliance on oil from the region, has previously expressed concern at the upsurge in violence in Yemen and called for a political solution.

“The situation in Yemen concerns the security and stability of the Middle East, especially the Gulf region, and efforts on the political resolution process for the Yemen issue ought to be speeded up,” Xi said, according to the ministry.

On Saturday, King Salman made a phone call to President Francois Hollande of France. They reviewed bilateral relations and overall situation in regional and international arenas.


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