Statement by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs at the Extraordinary Session of the OIC Foreign Ministers on Situation in Yemen Jeddah

Islamabad, June 16, 2015 (PPI-OT): Mr. Chairman,

Secretary General, H.E. Iyad Ameen Madani,

Excellencies,

Distinguished Delegates

Assalam-o-Alaikum

I am grateful to the Secretary General for convening this Extraordinary Session of the OIC Foreign Ministers on the request of the Government of Yemen, which was ousted by Houthis in January this year. Pakistan has strongly condemned actions by the Houthis to overthrow the legitimate government in Yemen led by President Abdul Rabbo Mansoor Hadi.

Pakistan enjoys very close and brotherly relations with the Muslim Ummah and specially the GCC countries. The sanctity of the two Holy Mosques and full support to their Custodian is a foreign policy imperative for Pakistan. Any threat to the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia will evoke a strong response from Pakistan.

We fully support the objectives of the Coalition led by Saudi Arabia to restore the legitimate Government in Yemen and withdrawal of Houthis from the territories seized by them including Sana’a. During his visit to Riyadh on 23 April, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with President Abdul Rabbo Mansoor Hadi to express solidarity with the people and the Government of Yemen.

We have noted with concern incidents of shelling and missile attacks from Yemen on bordering regions of Saudi Arabia. Such incidents will harm the prospects of peaceful settlement of the crisis in Yemen.

It is unfortunate that the actions of Houthis have created difficulties for the people of Yemen who are suffering due to this turmoil. These sufferings would become even more unbearable during the upcoming holy month of Ramadan. The actions of Houthis have also caused hardships for the expatriate community in Yemen including large number of Pakistanis who had to be evacuated from Yemen.

Pakistan, therefore, welcomed the end of Operation Decisive Storm and commencement of the second phase called “Restoring Hope”, which is focusing on political solution of the crisis and humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen.

The five-day ceasefire from 12 to 17 May 2015 observed by the Coalition allowed the flow of humanitarian assistance to Yemen. In view of the close and cordial relations between the peoples of Pakistan and Yemen, the Government of Pakistan has decided to donate one million dollars for providing tents to the brotherly people of Yemen. The assistance will be provided in coordination with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Centre for Relief and Humanitarian Assistance, established recently in Riyadh.

Deliberations in this extraordinary session of the OIC Foreign Ministers should commence with two important resolutions. Resolution 14/42 on “Solidarity with Yemen and Support for Constitutional Legitimacy”, adopted by the 42 Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in Kuwait on 27-28 May 2015. This resolution holds the Houthi group of militants fully responsible for the failure of the talks between the Yemeni political parties and the exhaustion of all peaceful means for dealing with the Yemeni crisis due to the intransigence of this group and its forceful takeover of power.

The UN Security Council Resolution 2201 of 15 February 2015 and 2216 of 14 April 2015, contain several measures against Houthis and some entities in Yemen and demand that they immediately and unconditionally withdraw their forces from all areas they have seized including the capital Sana’a.

The main purpose of the talks that started in Geneva yesterday under the UN would be to pursue the implementation of this resolution in order to find a political solution to the crisis in Yemen, which is important not only for Yemen but for the whole region. Return of peace and stability in Yemen would significantly contribute towards greater harmony and brotherhood within the Muslim Ummah.

Mr. Chairman,

Pakistan is also deeply concerned at the increasing threats to regional peace and stability in the Middle East. We believe that there is a dire need to ensure that the region does not get further destabilized by terrorist groups. We are therefore committed to enhancing cooperation with the GCC countries in combating extremism and terrorism.

We firmly believe that peaceful settlement of the crisis in Yemen will significantly contribute to efforts to promote peace and security in the region. The overwhelming sentiment in Pakistan is also in favour of a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Yemen.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Aizaz Ahmad Ch
Spokesman
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Government of Pakistan
Tell: +92-51-9205494
Fax: +92-51-9204202
Cell: +92-336-5644459