Ban urges Saudis to end conflict in Yemen

NEW YOKR, Jun.23 (MNA) – Ban Ki-moon has met with Saudi defense minister few weeks after the kingdom’s pressure on UN to remove its name from the list of child-killing states.The UN Secretary General met with Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Deputy Crown Prince and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

The Secretary-General and the deputy crown prince exchanged views on a wide number of regional issues, including the conflict in Syria, the situations in Libya, Lebanon and Yemen and the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process.

On Syria, the Secretary-General said he looked to Saudi Arabia to encourage all parties to support cease-fire efforts on the ground and to engage positively with his Special Envoy for Syria. He underscored that the next few weeks will be critical for the Syrian peace process.

Ban Ki-moon also expressed his concern about the impact of the Syrian conflict on Lebanon. In that regard, he highlighted the need to resolve the long-standing issue of the vacant presidency in the country and called for maximum support to the Lebanese Government.

Regarding Libya, the Secretary-General said that while he was encouraged that the Presidency Council has settled in Tripoli, it was also important for all Member States to help ensure that  General Haftar and his army units be brought into the unified command under the Presidency Council.

On the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Secretary-General informed the Deputy Crown Prince that the Quartet’s report would soon be issued and that he hoped it would shape international consensus on how to preserve and advance a two-State solution.

Turning to Yemen, the Secretary-General thanked Saudi Arabia for supporting the political work of his Special Envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and stressed the urgency of ending the conflict.

On the issue of protecting children and civilians in the armed conflict in Yemen, the Secretary-General and the deputy crown prince discussed putting into place concrete measures that could improve the situation on the ground.

He expressed hope that by the time he presents the Children and Armed Conflict report to the Security Council in August, he could point to progress on the protection of children and civilians in Yemen.

Ban said he remains open to receiving any new elements from Saudi Arabia and hoped that discussions would take place soon.

Earlier this month the United Nations released its report on protection of children rights where Saudi Arabia was criticized for killing children in Yemen and Ban Ki-moon admitted afterwards that he has removed Saudi Arabia from the list of children rights violators under political and financial pressure of the Saudi regime.

By Mehr News Agency