The United States will end its support for military operations in Yemen, but it will continue to help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty and land, President Joe Biden said Thursday.
Biden said the war in Yemen “must end,” during his first foreign policy speech since taking office.
“At the same time, we’re going to continue to support and help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty and its territorial integrity and its people,” Biden said, adding that the Kingdom continues to be targeted with missile attacks.
Biden also announced the appointment of a special envoy for Yemen.
Sources familiar with the move had told Al Arabiya English that Timothy Lenderking was tapped by Biden for the role. Lenderking was previously a senior official at the US Embassy in Riyadh.
Earlier Thursday, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said moves related to Yemen were discussed with officials in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. “We are pursuing a policy of no surprises,” he told reporters at a White House briefing.
Sullivan said the US was in contact with its partners in allies in the region and that they understood the decision.
Biden spoke of the need for the US to play a more active and engaged role in diplomacy to bring an end to the conflict in Yemen.