Time: March 29, 2019
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat from New York, Al-Rabeeah said: “Everyone knows that Saudi Arabia and the Alliance are very careful not to harm the Yemeni people.”
He stressed that the Kingdom had tried to avoid armed conflict in Yemen from the very beginning, with the adoption of the Gulf Initiative and its implementation mechanisms, the outcome of national dialogue and the relevant UN Security Council resolution.
“But the Houthis did not respond,” he remarked. “Consequently, the Yemeni government, headed by President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, had to call upon Saudi Arabia and the coalition countries to restore the legitimacy chosen by the Yemeni people.”
Al-Rabeeah underlined the huge efforts made by the Kingdom over the past four years to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.
The Kingdom has provided more than $11.4 billion through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), “with more than 61 percent of the center’s work concentrated in Yemen.”
He emphasized that Saudi Arabia, through the center, has delivered aid to all the Yemeni provinces, including the areas controlled by the Houthis, noting that his country did not want to see the Yemeni people, whether in the north or in the south, suffer any kind of harm.
He also pointed to the large number of Yemenis currently residing in Saudi Arabia, saying: “There are more than 561,000 Yemeni refugees. We do not call them refugees, but they are dear visitors to the Kingdom living among their families and relatives.”
In response to a question about the destructive role of Iran in Yemen and the region, Al-Rabeeah said: “Everyone knows that Iran’s policy is to export revolution. This is the main objective of Iranian politics. As it did in Hezbollah’s policy in Lebanon, as well as in Syria, it seeks to have an armed militia that controls Yemen.”
“Does the international community want an armed militia to control two important parts, the first being Bab al-Mandab, the gate to the Red Sea and 30 percent of world trade, and the other being controlling immigration from Africa through Yemen, which worries Europe and North America?” He asked.
“We have not seen Yemeni immigrants to Europe and America because of what Saudi Arabia and the coalition countries have done. We were able to contain the Yemeni refugees, and we were able to reduce the danger of Bab al-Mandab to the international community and the international economy,” he affirmed.
Al-Rabeeah revealed that during a conference on aid to Yemen held three weeks ago in Geneva, Iran’s representative “did not pledge a single dollar,” saying that over the last four years, Iran “perhaps donated more than $11 billion by sending missiles, bullets and weapons to Yemen, and unfortunately through illegal routes.”
In contrast, the Saudi official spoke of unprecedented donations this year by the Kingdom, the UAE and Kuwait, which amounted to $1.7 billion.
“This has never happened before in the history of the United Nations… The Kingdom is serious this year to expand its humanitarian programs… and to cover all areas of Yemen,” he said.