Saudi rejects interference in Yemen

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia is determined to prevent external “interference” in neighbouring war-torn Yemen, King Salman said in an annual address on Wednesday.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has itself led an Arab coalition conducting air strikes against the Ansar Allah and providing other assistance to local forces in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.
“We will not accept any interference in the internal affairs of Yemen,” King Salman said in an address opening a new session of the Shura Council.
King Salman said his country will neither accept that Yemen “becomes a base or a point of passage for whatever state or party to menace the security or the stability of the kingdom and of the region”.
The Saudi-led coalition intervened after Ansar Allah allied with elite members of security forces loyal to Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh seized the capital Sanaa and overran other parts of the country.
The rebels have killed at least 110 civilians and soldiers in rocket fire and skirmishes along the Saudi frontier.
They have also fired longer-range ballistic missiles over the border at Saudi Arabia.
International investigators last month said they had found a suspected “weapons pipeline” through Somalia to Yemen.
British-based Conflict Armament Research, which is primarily funded by the European Union, analysed photographs of weapons including assault rifles and rocket launchers to draw its conclusions.
King Salman underlined that Riyadh was open to a “political solution” in Yemen, whose security “is intrinsically linked to that of the kingdom”.
The Yemen war has killed more than 7,000 people, about half of them civilians. King Salman said the government “took measures that were sometimes painful” because of the effect of lower oil prices, but that it has coordinated with other producers to stabilise the petroleum market. — AFP

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