Turkish foreign minister raises concerns over Yemen

Turkey's Cavusoglu visits Saudi Arabia and urges Muslim countries to take action, calls on OIC to form contact group for mediation

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has paid a visit to Saudi Arabia to attend an extraordinary meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ministers of Foreign Affairs.

Cavusoglu remarked Turkey is ‘’deeply concerned’’ over the humanitarian situation in Yemen and is calling for peace in the Saudi city of Jeddah on Tuesday.

"Eventually it is the Yemeni people who suffer most from the current conflict and we are deeply concerned about the humanitarian situation," he said.

He recalled Turkey had sent humanitarian aid to Aden and assistance in Djibouti for Yemeni refugees, reiterating Turkey is consistent in calling for a political solution to the crisis.

The minister said the Iranian-backed Houthis should act ‘’responsibly’’ and allow humanitarian pauses.

He called the OIC members to encourage the political parties of Yemen to act constructively.

"The OIC and the member states may have a role in the implementation of an eventual political agreement, if requested by the government of Yemen," said the FM.

At the end of his speech, the foreign minister drew attention to Syrian refugees in Turkey and asked the member states to take humanitarian responsibility.

The Houthis are allied with Yemen’s still powerful former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was deposed during the Arab spring revolutions in 2011, and his loyalists in the army.

The group has taken over the capital Sanaa and swooped into several central provinces earlier this year.

The Houthis later on advanced further into the south-western port city of Aden where the deposed president Hadi established an interim government before he fled to Saudi Arabia on March 25.

Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies started an aerial operation, dubbed “Decisive Storm” on March 26 to halt the Houthi advancement from Sanaa to Aden as they justified their involvement with the claim of “defending the legitimate government” of exiled president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

The UN reported that 20 million Yemenis, means 78 percent of the total population,  are now in need of humanitarian assistance. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in war-torn Yemen and more than 100,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of the conflict.

TRTWorld and agencies