Saudi King Salman calls Obama on Yemen crisis

Police troopers stand near the building of police headquarters, destroyed by Saudi-led air strikes, in Yemen's northwestern city of Saada. (Reuters)

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz on Saturday called U.S. President Barack Obama to discuss the latest developments in Yemen where the Kingdom is leading a coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi militias, Reuters news agency reported.

The two leaders agreed that a negotiated political solution was necessary to reach stability in Yemen, a White House statement said.

Obama also underscored the U.S. commitment to Saudi Arabia's security, the White House said.

The conversation also touched upon the situation in “at the regional and international arenas,” the official Saudi Press Agency said.

Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Saudi Arabia's King Salman in a telephone call that efforts should be stepped up to seek a political solution to the crisis in Yemen, China's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

China, a low-key diplomatic player in the Middle East despite its reliance on oil from the region, has previously expressed concern at the upsurge in violence in Yemen and called for a political solution.

"The situation in Yemen concerns the security and stability of the Middle East, especially the Gulf region, and efforts on the political resolution process for the Yemen issue ought to be speeded up," Xi said, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Saudi Arabia launched on March 26 a military campaign answering a call from Yemen’s President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi for intervention after Houthi militants overran the capital of Sanaa earlier this year.

In addition to logistic help, the U.S. has voiced its support of the campaign, dubbed Operation Decisive Storm, as a means of restoring stability to the embattled country.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution placing an arms embargo on the Houthi militants along with blacklisting their leader and deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has allied himself with the Shiite militias.
 

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Last Update: 11:10 KSA 14:10 - GMT 11:10
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