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Saudi defends ‘just’ Yemen war ahead of UK visit

Yemeni fighters loyal to the government backed by the Saudi-led coalition ride in the back of a pickup truck during their the offensive in the Mesini Valley in the vast province of Hadramawt in February 2018
AFP

London (AFP) – Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister on Tuesday defended his country’s “just” war in Yemen, on the eve of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s controversial visit to Britain.

“They criticise us for a war in Yemen that we did not want, that was imposed on us,” Adel Al-Jubeir told BBC Radio 4. 

“They criticise us for a war in Yemen that is a just war, that is supported by international law,” he added. 

Protest group Stop the War will hold a rally outside Prime Minister Theresa May’s Downing Street residence at 5.00pm (1700 GMT) on Wednesday to denounce Saudi Arabia’s “brutal and illegal bombing” in Yemen and London’s support for the Middle Eastern regime. 

NGO Save the Children will also protest the conflict by placing a life-size statue of a child near parliament “to draw attention to the violence that is being fuelled, in part, by British-made bombs.”

Turning to Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030” plan to diversify its oil-reliant economy, Al-Jubeir said that Britain would be a major beneficiary. 

“After Brexit, there will be huge opportunities for Britain as a result of Vision 2030,” he told the BBC. 

The Saudi Crown Prince is expected in London on Wednesday following his visit to Egypt earlier this week, and before a trip to the United States from March 19 to 22.

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