US State Dept. Certifies That Saudi Arabia, UAE Reduce Harm To Civilians In Yemen - Pompeo

US State Dept. Certifies That Saudi Arabia, UAE Reduce Harm to Civilians in Yemen - Pompeo

The United States has certified that the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have made serious steps to ensure that civilians in Yemen are not harmed by their military operations in the country, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 12th September, 2018) The United States has certified that the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have made serious steps to ensure that civilians in Yemen are not harmed by their military operations in the country, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement on Wednesday.

"I certified to Congress yesterday that the governments of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates are undertaking demonstrable actions to reduce the risk of harm to civilians and civilian infrastructure resulting from military operations of these governments," Pompeo said.

Pompeo's decision to issue the certification ensures that the United States can continue to provide support to the Saudi-led coalition operating in Yemen. Otherwise, newly passed legislation would have prevented US forces from refueling Saudi and UAE aircraft involved in military operations in Yemen.

In his statement, Pompeo reiterated Washington's view that ending the conflict in Yemen is a national security priority for the United States.

"We will continue to work closely with the Saudi-led coalition to ensure Saudi Arabia and the UAE maintain support for UN-led efforts to end the civil war in Yemen," Pompeo said.

Pompeo also underscored the need to provide unimpeded access to humanitarian aid workers in Yemen and take actions to mitigate the impact of the conflict on civilians.

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis said he fully supports Pompeo's decision.

"[Saudi Arabia and UAE] are making every effort to reduce the risk of civilian casualties and collateral damage to civilian infrastructure resulting from their military operations to end the civil war in Yemen," Mattis said.

The US defense secretary also pointed out the "Saudi-led coalition's commitment is reflected in their support for these UN-led efforts."

Mattis added that State and Defense departments are actively engaged with UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to achieve a negotiated end to the fighting in Yemen.

Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah. The Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf nations has been carrying out strikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015.

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