King vows to continue Yemen campaign

King Salman and Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi leaving for Riyadh

King Salman and Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi leaving for Riyadh

Custodian of Two Holy Mosques King Salman vowed on Saturday that the military intervention Saudi Arabia is leading against Houthis in Yemen will continue until it brings security to the Yemeni people.

The campaign will continue until it achieves its goals for the Yemeni people to enjoy security, the king said at the 26th Arab Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh.

The king’s pledge came as heads of Arab states said the Saudi Arabia-led operation in Yemen is fundamental to safeguard the region’s stability and the Arabic identity of Yemen.

Arab leaders also voiced their strong support to the Saudi-led operation against the Iran-backed group, saying their coup is a threat not only to the security of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, but also to the Arab world and to international peace.

Operation Decisive Storm, in which several Arab and international countries are taking part, including the US, comes after the Houthi rebels’ insistence on destroying the country and serving regional agendas, they said at the opening of the summit.

In his address, King Salman said: “Saudi Arabia did not spare any effort to address the situation in Yemen. Houthi intransigence, pursuit of power and control, rejection of all initiatives and their aggression against the Yemeni people led to the military operation.”

“The Houthi militants elicited support of foreign powers to threaten the region’s security,” he said.

“We hoped not to resort to this decision (the operation) … The Houthi’ aggression is the biggest threat to the stability and security of the region,” said King Salman. The Saudi-led operation against the Houthi militants will continue until security is restored, he said.

In his address, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi called for continued airstrikes against the Houthis — whom he labeled as the “stooges of Iran” — until they surrender.

Calling on his supporters to rise up in peaceful protests, Hadi said airstrikes should continue until Houthis return the heavy and medium weapons they looted from army depots.

Hadi accused former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthis of attempting a military coup after fighters loyal to the ousted president allied with the Houthis.

Voicing support to the airstrikes, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sissi said the Houthis resorted to using weapons to spread panic among Yemenis and jeopardize regional stability.

“They took to weapons, neglecting the legitimacy of the presidency, and violating all previous understandings and pacts.”

The Egyptian leader described the Houthis as opportunists seeking to marginalize the remaining segments of Yemeni society.

“It was a crucial for Arabs to take action via a coalition to preserve the stability of Yemen and its Arabic identity, and to ensure that the legitimate leadership restores power over all Yemen,” he said.

Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, who noted that Kuwait was among the first countries to support the operation, said the Houthi aggression against the legitimate leadership, threatens the entire region.

“After all peaceful means to find a solution failed, and upon a call by the Yemeni president for intervention, and in line with the GCC Defense Pact and the Arab Treaty of Joint Defense, all Arabs stood up to defend Yemen,” said the Kuwaiti emir.

The issue of forming a joint Arab military force to fight terrorism and preserve the security of Arab states was one of the priorities of leaders at the summit.

Referring to the Arab-Israeli conflict, they reiterated commitment to Arab Peace Initiatives and voiced rejection of Israeli settlement activities and violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

The escalating situation in Syria and Libya also dominated the summit.


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