Allowing Yemen to collapse 'not an option', says Philip Hammond ahead of Gulf tour

Posted On: 
29th May 2016

Philip Hammond has said leaving Yemen to collapse is “simply not an option” as he pushes for further action in the war-torn state.

The Foreign Secretary has called for more action to tackle the crises in Syria and Yemen
PA Images

The Foreign Secretary is embarking on a tour of the Gulf states where he will hold talks on the Yemeni political crisis and the Syrian civil war.

Some 3,200 civilians have been killed and 5,700 wounded in Yemen since the conflict began in September 2014, according to the UN high commissioner.

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The central fight is between forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and so-called Houthi rebels, who drove Mr Hadi out of the capital Sanaa in February 2015.

The following month a coalition of Arab forces led by Saudi Arabia began hitting the rebels with airstrikes, apparently “defending the legitimate government” of Mr Hadi.

Speaking ahead of his Gulf trip, Mr Hammond said the crisis in Yemen would be high on his agenda.

"Wherever we look, the world is becoming more dangerous and more uncertain,” he said.

"International engagement is fundamental to maintaining both Britain's security and our prosperity.

"Britain's strong relations with the Gulf states enable us to work together on regional challenges and shared threats that confront us, whether from violent extremism, terrorism, or volatile economic conditions."

The Syrian conflict began in 2011 and has so far left 250,000 people, made 11 million homeless and continues to fuel the European migration crisis as refugees flood out of the country.