Oman, Uae and Iran

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:30 pm on 11th December 2017.

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Photo of Boris Johnson Boris Johnson Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs 5:30 pm, 11th December 2017

I pay tribute to the right hon. Gentleman’s vast learning on the subject of Yemen, and he is entirely right to say that there is a critical situation in Sana’a, where the Houthis are, in effect, trying to wipe out the supporters of Saleh—the General People’s Congress—or bring them over entirely to their side. One thing we must achieve is preserving a plurality of political voices in Yemen if we possibly can, which is one reason why we want to move forward with the talks I have described. To prevent further starvation and suffering, it is essential to get supplies flowing through Hodeidah, but to do that we must help to reassure the Saudis and others that that port is not being used to smuggle weaponry and to support those who are attacking civilians. That is one of the jobs in which the Government are now engaged. As for the forthcoming visit by the President of Yemen, I will undertake, on behalf of the right hon. Gentleman, to discuss with the Prime Minister her timetable, and will revert to him as soon as is convenient.