Yemen

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:26 pm on 20th November 2017.

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Photo of Alistair Burt Alistair Burt Minister of State (Department for International Development) (Jointly with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development) 4:26 pm, 20th November 2017

I am grateful to my hon. Friend, a former Minister, for his support, and I understand his point. Since 2010, when I first stood at the Dispatch Box to speak about Yemen, we have had all sorts of opportunities for a different future for the people of Yemen: the end of the presidency of Ali Abdullah Saleh; a process that resulted in a national dialogue; an opportunity for a new democratic future; and an opportunity for voices that had never been heard—those of young people and women—in the governance of Yemen. However, those opportunities were dashed by the current conflict and an insurgency by a group seeking to take power with violence, removing the chances we had seen for people to benefit from the development and building of democracy. The United Kingdom has been engaged right the way through the process to encourage all the right things. Reporting to the House is important, and it has not taken any time away from the time we have needed to spend on Yemen itself.