Statement by the Saudi Ambassador to the United States on peace efforts in Yemen and escalating attacks against the Kingdom
Saudi Ambassador Princess Reema Bandar Al Saud has described the March 7th attacks on the Kingdom as “egregious terrorist attacks carried out by Iranian-backed militias against Saudi Arabia, calling them a threat to innocent civilians and an assault on global energy security."
“The Kingdom is committed to ending the war in Yemen through a political resolution, but on the other side of this conflict is a group driven by the extremist ideology of the Iranian regime,” the Ambassador said. “The Houthis continue to show callous disregard for the suffering of our Yemeni brothers and sisters. Quite simply, by their actions they show they are not interested in the type of serious dialogue it will take to end the nightmare in Yemen.”
The Ambassador emphasized that Saudi Arabia has been determined to restore stability and security to Yemen, through a negotiated settlement, since the beginning of the conflict, and it has supported all U.N. peace initiatives since 2015. She stressed that Saudi officials remain active in their support of the efforts of U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and the U.S. Special Envoy for Yemen Timothy Lenderking.
The Ambassador said the latest missile and drone attacks on Aramco facilities in Saudi Arabia “represent a threat to the stability of global energy supplies, affecting the entire global economy and endangering the lives of Saudi workers in Aramco and thousands more from 80 different nationalities, including Americans.”
“We are exercising extreme restraint in the face of a daily barrage of weaponized drones and ballistic missiles,” the Ambassador declared. “It is distressing that despite our reinvigorated efforts to resolve the conflict the Houthis have only escalated their attacks on Saudi Arabia, at the same time they have escalated their offensive in Ma’rib in Yemen, which is home to more than 1 million internally displaced Yemenis, and shelled and bombarded Taiz and other Yemeni civilian centers. The Houthis believe they can act with impunity.”
The Ambassador noted that Iran continues to provide weapons, training and technical support to the Houthis, and stated: “Renewed international commitments to end the war in Yemen means putting an end to the smuggling of Iranian weaponry into Yemen, which is being used to terrorize Yemenis and to launch attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia.
HRH Ambassador Reema also noted that the Houthis have denied U.N. teams from inspecting and maintaining the aging oil tanker FSO Safer for almost three years, threatening an oil spill that would destroy marine life in the Red Sea and damage Yemeni coastlines. Their targeting of oil facilities in the Kingdom also threatens the local environment by exposing coasts and territorial waters to a potentially disastrous spilling of petroleum or petroleum products.
The Ambassador praised the brave and remarkable efforts of the Saudi Armed Forces from preventing greater Houthi damage. She commended their work to protect civilians from all forms of threats, including the successful interception of more than 526 Houthi drones and more than 346 Houthi ballistic missiles.