Uk Relations: Saudi Arabia

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:49 pm on 7th March 2018.

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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) 12:49 pm, 7th March 2018

I agree with the hon. Lady—no, of course, Yemen cannot wait. As I said earlier, if I believed for a moment that asking one party to the conflict simply to stop its activities would bring an end to it, then we would all advocate that solution, but I do not believe that that is the case. There must be a negotiated end; it should come as quickly as possible, and we have been pressing for that for some considerable time. In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to ease the humanitarian situation, and we have seen an easing of restrictions, particularly since the visits of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development to Djibouti and to Riyadh in December, where she was able to explain to the coalition exactly what the international community was doing to seek to protect them. That led to an easing of the restrictions straight away, but nothing will truly help the people of Yemen until the conflict comes to an end. On that, she, her constituents and all the rest of us are absolutely right.