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Yemen: Military Intervention

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3497, tabled on 22 November 2017

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the statement made by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 20 November (HL Deb, col 46), what actions they are taking within the UN to ensure that action is taken to allow the immediate provision of supplies to Yemen; what representations they have made to the government of Saudi Arabia regarding ending their blockade of Yemen; whether a timescale has been established for such action to be taken; and whether, given the UK's alliance with Saudi Arabia, they have any plans to review licences for arms supplies to that country.

Answered on

7 December 2017

The UK is deeply concerned by the humanitarian situation and calls for all parties to immediately provide unhindered commercial and humanitarian access. The Prime Minister met with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia during her visit to Riyadh on 29 November and was clear on the importance of a resolution to the conflict and humanitarian and commercial access to all of Yemen. The Foreign Secretary raised the urgency of the humanitarian situation with the Crown Prince on 23 November and has also spoken with the Secretary-General of the UN.

On 22 November, the Saudi-led Coalition announced that they would allow humanitarian flights and shipments to resume. We welcome progress towards reopening the ports in Hodeidah, Salif and Sana'a airport. A small number of humanitarian and commercial vessels have been able to berth at these ports. To prevent a humanitarian catastrophe, more needs to be done and quickly. The UK will continue pressing at the very highest levels for complete and unhindered commercial and humanitarian access to all of Yemen.

The UK Government takes its arms export licensing responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking account of all relevant factors at the time of the application.