Yemen: Dhaka Backs Saudi Efforts

Shahidul-Haque

Bangladesh has represented an extra-ordinary OIC ministerial meeting in Jeddah on the Yemen crisis.

The meeting has been convened at the request of Yemen’s President in exile in Saudi Arabia Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, amid Shia-Sunni conflicts in his home country.

The Houthi fighters, representing a Shia minority that makes up around a third of Yemen’s population, emerged as the most powerful force in the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country last year when they captured capital Sana’a.

Hadi fled the capital and took shelter to Saudi Arabia that backed him and had been conducting air war against the rebels since March.

Shia-dominated Iran is allegedly backing the Houthis.

It is not clear whether Iran, a member of the OIC, has joined the meeting.

Bangladesh foreign ministry on Thursday said Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque represented the country at the meeting held on Tuesday.

First deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Kuwait chaired the meeting in his capacity as OIC chair.

Hadi thanked the OIC for convening the meet besides seeking continued support.

He urged the Gulf countries for supporting their “just struggle” against the Houthi militias and restore “legitimate authority of his government in Yemen”.

Bangladesh foreign secretary in his remarks condemned the Houthi action against the “legitimate” Hadi government.

He reiterated Bangladesh’s support to efforts led by Saudi Arabia in restoring the legitimate state authority and upholding the sovereignty of Yemen, the foreign ministry said.

He stressed a broad-based political consensus for a sustainable solution to the current crisis.

The meeting also produced a joint communiqué expressing OIC support for the government of Hadi and seeking a political solution to the Yemen crisis.

An organisation of 57 member states, OIC, which calls itself “the collective voice of the Muslim World,” is being criticised for failing to produce tangible solutions to conflicts and problems that have divided the Muslim world for decades.

The Jeddha meeting has been seen by many as an alternative gathering to UN-sponsored Yemen talks in Geneva.

FS meets OIC Chief

On the sidelines, the foreign secretary had a bilateral meeting with the OIC Secretary General Iyad Ameen Madani.

He discussed, among other things, the engagement of the OIC in addressing the situation of Rohingya Muslim community of Myanmar.

He also met the president of the International Development Bank and discussed issues of bilateral importance, the foreign ministry said.

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