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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at a joint news conference following talks with Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs and Compatriots Abroad Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak, Sochi, May 26, 2021

26 May 202115:04

Ladies and gentlemen,

We met with Minister of Foreign Affairs and Compatriots Abroad of the Yemen Republic Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak who is on a working visit in the Russian Federation. We discussed in detail the military-political and humanitarian developments in Yemen in the past few years and reviewed some aspects of bilateral relations.

We focused on the need to stop the war and any hostilities in this friendly country. We emphasized that all participants in the conflict must give up attempts to resolve past and ongoing problems by force. We reaffirmed our desire to continue international mediation with the central, leading role of the United Nations. Our position is unequivocal: the Yemenis must agree among themselves through comprehensive dialogue, while external players must facilitate conditions that will allow them to reach a compromise solution at their inclusive talks.

We also believe that the way to enduring peace and stability lies through the dialogue of all leading national political forces. We laid particular emphasis on this today. We do not see any alternative to intra-Yemeni talks with mutual consideration for each other’s interests and concerns.

We are worried about the grievous position of Yemen’s people. The continuing hostilities lead to more victims among civilians and undermine the socio-economic infrastructure. People are suffering from unemployment, malnutrition, lack of access to elementary domestic and medical services and the spread of dangerous diseases. The coronavirus infection has made a bad situation worse.

Russia continues to advocate the full lifting of the sea, ground and air blockade of Yemen and cancellation of all restrictions on the supplies of food, medications and other basic necessities to all districts in the country without exception. We urge all parties to the conflict to strictly observe the provisions of international humanitarian law and renounce combat operations that lead to the destruction of the civilian infrastructure and civilian victims.

We support the proposals made some time ago by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Yemen on the functioning of the airport in Sana’a, the operation of the port in Hodeidah and regular salary payments to government employees. No compromise has been reached on these issues so far. We urged the parties involved to settle the conflict over the oil storage vessel Safer that is moored near Hodeidah through cooperation between the Ansar Allah Houthi movement and the authorised UN agencies.

Regarding bilateral cooperation, we had to state with regret that the domestic crisis in Yemen has led to the suspension of all economic, trade, humanitarian and education-related contacts. Nevertheless, we reaffirmed our mutual desire to restore all business ties after the end of the armed confrontation and the creation of consistent government bodies in the Yemen Republic. We would hope that this will happen as soon as possible.

We value our traditionally friendly relations with Yemen. I hope these talks will help create conditions that will allow our friends to overcome the many serious problems they now face.

Thank you for your attention. I give the floor to my colleague.

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