JEDDAH, 23rd June, 2018 (WAM) — Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the National Media Council, NMC, has emphasised that the UAE, in implementation of the directives of the wise leadership and its effective role within the Saudi-led Arab Coalition, continues to support the Yemeni people through carrying out a huge humanitarian operation to provide aid to the liberated areas.
Al Jaber made his remarks while leading the UAE delegation to a meeting being held today at the Jeddah Conference Palace in Saudi Arabia for ministers responsible for media affairs in the member states of the Coalition to Support Legitimacy in Yemen.
Al Jaber said that the holding of the meeting followed on from the qualitative victories achieved by the Joint Yemeni forces, with the support of the Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia, and the rapid developments and events in Yemen.
Al Jaber also referred to the continuation of the military and humanitarian operation in Hodeidah to ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people, to alleviate their suffering. He also mentioned the need to stop Iranian interference in Yemen through preventing the smuggling of weapons through Hodeidah Port as well as securing international waterways by stopping the threat posed by the Houthi militias to the movement of navigation in the Red Sea.
Al Jaber reaffirmed that the UAE, as part of its role in the Arab Coalition, has prepared a comprehensive humanitarian aid plan to alleviate the suffering of the people of Hodeidah and the liberated areas.
He pointed out that the Houthi militias have deliberately created a humanitarian disaster through interfering with the unloading of ships at the port, diverting or stealing food supplies, the laying of mines and positioning weapons amongst civilians, as well as destroying water and sanitation networks. This had been confirmed by the UN, relief organisations and the media, he noted.
Dr. Al Jaber stressed the importance of the international community putting pressure on the Houthis to compel them to abide by international humanitarian laws, to provide secure access routes for relief aid and to refrain from any damage to the infrastructure of the Port of Hodeidah. The port should also remain open for the use of international aid organisations.
He noted that the Yemeni crisis will end only through a political process which is consistent with the three principles of the output of the Yemeni national dialogue and the Gulf initiative, as well as UN Security Council resolution 2216, in a process involving Yemenis themselves, under the patronage and supervision of the U.N.
He said that the liberation of the city and port of Hodeidah represents a pivotal turning point in the Yemeni crisis since the restoration of the port to control by the legitimate government will enhance the chances of reaching a peaceful solution and breaking the deadlock in the political process through pressurising on the Houthi militias to sit down at the negotiating table. He added that it will also contribute to halting sources of arms and funding, since the port is used to smuggle weapons from Iran, while humanitarian aid sent for the Yemeni people is being used for trading on the black market.
He also reiterated the importance of the role played by the Coalition to Support legitimacy in Yemen in countering the extremist and terrorist organisations that found a haven in Yemen due to instability and the absence of legitimate authority.
Al Jaber noted the pivotal role played by the UAE as part of the Saudi -led Arab Coalition in the fight against these organisations, which have been dealt severe blows in many areas in Yemen.
He said that the decisive military intervention in Yemen has prevented the establishment of areas of influence for terrorism in Yemen, as happened in Syria and Iraq, when the world overlooked the expansion of Daesh and other terrorist organisations until they took control of large parts of the two countries.
Highlighting the critical role the media can play in countering extremism and terrorism, Dr. Al Jaber expressed the view that efforts by the media would ultimately lead to the eradication of the roots of extremist and fanatic thought and the drying up of sources of funding. These ” takfiri ” groups are distorting and exploiting Islam to penetrate into society to try to attract and recruit young people, he said.
He called on the media to play a greater role in informing young people and communities in terms of immunising them against distorted ideas which do not, in any way, represent the religion of Islam. The faith was, he noted, based upon moderation, centrism, tolerance, and an acceptance of the other.
Dr. Al Jaber also stressed the need for confronting Iranian interference which, he said, seeks to destabilise security and stability in the region. He called for the development of mechanisms to stop such interference through joint coordination and cooperation and collective strategies that can efficiently stand against Iran’s media and its tools which are waging an open war against the countries in the region.
On Yemen, the minister highlighted the need for the continuation of current work by the media, maximising efforts and strengthening cooperation with the objective of supporting legitimacy in Yemen and exposing the intransigence of the Houthi militias and their rejection of international efforts aimed at bringing peace to the country.
”There is a need for efficient mechanisms to mobilise energies in support of the Arab Coalition’s military and humanitarian efforts by encouraging media outlets to highlight the coalition’s efforts and its support for the legitimate government, which serves interest and prosperity of the brotherly people of Yemen,” he emphasised.
The ministers discussed methods to prepare a media plan to counter Iranian infiltration in Yemen and the region and to support the legitimate government in the media, so as to confront the Houthi and Iranian media machine at a regional and global level.
The meeting also tackled ways of improving the joint media message of the Coalition member states and the sharing of expertise derived from scientific research and studies, particularly those dealing with countering extremism, terrorism and the Iranian threat to the region.