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The Muslim World

UN resolution against Houthi rebels, a victory of the Saudi-led coalition

The United Nations Security Council has imposed arms embargo on the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The resolution moved by Jordan was carried by 14 votes with only one abstention, by Russia. It is a victory of the Saudi –led Arab coalition which has been conducting air strikes to stop the Houthi rebels from occupying the country. After over running the capital Sanaa in September the Houthis were fighting for the strategic port of Aden.

            The Houthis, who have been clandestinely armed by Iran, forced the country’s legitimate president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to the neighboring Saudi Arabia while forces loyal to him have been fighting to oust them.

            The situation became so bad that on March 25 Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies resorted to carrying out air raids on the advancing rebels. The Arab countries meeting under the banner of the Arab League, took important decisions on the Yemen issue, including joint military operation to stop the Houthi rebels.

            The bombing has brought about salutary effect on the rebels and has stopped their advance. Meanwhile, the Yemeni conflict and particularly the intervention by a foreign power to bring down a legitimate government, has galvanized the public opinion in Pakistan and in other Muslim countries in favour of the Yemeni leaders and of Saudi Arabia which has taken up the fight to preserve the independence of its neighboring country as well as the security of its own borders.

            Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a special address to the Pakistani nation following a debate in the parliament on the Yemen conflict declared that Saudi Arabia is a strategic partner and Pakistan stands by it in its hour of need. The prime minister condemned the Houthi rebels as non-state actors and called upon the Iranian leadership “to play its role in bringing the Houthi rebels to the negotiating table”.

            Referring to the resolution passed by Pakistan’s parliament on the Yemen issue, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said it was in line with the government policy on the issue which stood for a peaceful solution to the crisis through dialogue with the warring factions. But at the same time, he termed Saudi Arabia a strategic ally and declared to the world that Pakistan stood “shoulder to shoulder with the Kingdom”. The prime minister said:” Pakistan does not abandon friends and strategic partners especially at a time when their security is under threat.” He declared that Pakistan firmly believed that President Mansour Hadi’s government would be important to maintain peace and stability to Yemen.

            Reassuring Saudi Arabia of Pakistan’s commitment to its security and sanctity, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif declared that “Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and stability were the main pillars of the country’s foreign policy”.

            The prime minister truly voiced the feelings of the Pakistani people when he said that Pakistan attached great importance to the sanctity of the Two Holy Mosques and extended full support to their Custodian. . At the same time the prime minister declared that Pakistan strongly condemned the actions of the Houthi rebels and other non-state actors in overthrowing the legitimate government of Yemen and wanted a peaceful solution to the crisis through dialogue among the warring factions.