This morning the airport in Abha in southern Saudi Arabia was hit by a rocket, injuring at least 26 civilians. The attack has been claimed by the Houthi movement.
“The European Union expresses its wishes for a speedy recovery to those injured” says the European External Action Service spokesperson statement.
“At a time when tensions in the region are on the rise, it is essential to show maximum restraint and refrain from further acts of escalation. Such provocative attacks pose a threat to regional security and undermine the UN-led political process in Yemen”.
“The EU reiterates its full support to the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and his work to ensure the implementation of the Hodeidah Agreement and promote political consultations. Only an inclusive political agreement can put an end to this conflict.”
“Today with the Foreign Ministers we will discuss first and foremost the situation in Yemen. I discussed yesterday on the phone with the Special Envoy of the United Nations for Yemen [Martin] Griffiths on how the European Union and the Member States can best support his work in this crucial moment that could be or become an opening for an end to the war in Yemen, one of the most devastating humanitarian catastrophes of our times” said EU top diplomat Federica Mogherini upon her arrival to the EU Foreign ministers meeting.
The EU ministers will continue to work to strengthen European defence.
“In particular today I expect Ministers to see how our Permanent Structure Cooperation is advancing, with 17 new projects to be adopted. And tomorrow, we will have [with us] Jens Stoltenberg, the Secretary-General of NATO, to continue our work to strengthen EU-NATO cooperation that is going extremely well” Mogherini added.
Ministers will also discuss the situation in Ukraine.
On Monday 19 November, defence ministers have a joined discussion with foreign ministers on EU cooperation in security and defence.
They are reviewing the initiatives part of the implementation of the EU Global Strategy in this area, including the permanent structured cooperation (PESCO), the coordinated annual review on defence (CARD), the European defence fund, military mobility, the military planning and conduct capability (MPCC), the civilian CSDP compact and the proposal for a European Peace Facility.
The Council is expected to adopt conclusions on security and defence.
On 25 June 2018 in Luxembourg EU foreign ministers discussed the latest developments in Yemen together with UN Special Envoy (UNSE) Martin Griffiths, who briefed them on his peace plan. Ministers exchanged views on ongoing EU efforts, including political outreach, and in particular the regional dialogue with Iran on Yemen, as well as humanitarian and development support. They explored ways to strengthen the UN-led process.
The Council adopted conclusions on Yemen against the background of the recent intensification of military operations in and around the port of Hodeidah, through which 70% of food imports to Yemen are shipped. More than 22 million people -80% of the population of the country – are in need of humanitarian or protection support.
The EU reiterated that there cannot be any military solution to the conflict and underlined its strong support for the UNSE Martin Griffiths, and his efforts to bring about an inclusive political solution.. The EU will maintain its engagement with all parties to the conflict and stands ready to increase its action in Yemen, including in delivering humanitarian aid across the country and in mobilising development assistance to fund projects in critical sectors.
The Council underlines that sustainable peace can only be achieved through negotiations with the meaningful participation of all relevant parties, including civil society, women and youth. The EU therefore supports the UNSE’s efforts to restart the political process, and in particular his intention to renew inclusive political negotiations as soon as possible.
“Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed a dramatic escalation of hostilities in Yemen, resulting once again in many casualties and in the destruction of civilian infrastructure” – says the statement of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
“This escalation runs against the commitment of all sides to a political solution of the conflict in Yemen and feeds into a vicious cycle of successive retaliations that risks to undermine the efforts of UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths and put the resumption of peace talks in jeopardy.”
“There is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen. Only a negotiated, political solution through an inclusive process can put an end to the conflict and restore hope for stability and peace in the country and the region. This was also underlined in yesterday’s UN statement that EU fully supports.”
“The European Union continues to fully and unconditionally support UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths as he finalises his framework for negotiations.”