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Sun 29 Mar 2015 12:06 PM

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Saudi king: Houthi aggression is "the biggest threat to the stability and security of the region"

King Salman has vowed to continue the military intervention against Houthis in Yemen until security is restored

Saudi king: Houthi aggression is "the biggest threat to the stability and security of the region"
(Getty Images)

Saudi's King Salman has vowed to continue the military intervention against Houthis in Yemen until security is restored, Arab News reported.

Heads of Arab
states also backed the Saudi Arabia-led operation in Yemen, describing it as
fundamental to safeguard the region’s stability and the Arabic identity of
Yemen, during the 26th Arab Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Saturday.

Arab leaders
believe the Houthis are backed by Iran and their coup is also a threat to the
security of the GCC states, as well as the Arab world and international peace.

Operation
Decisive Storm, in which several Arab and international countries are taking
part, including the US, comes after the Houthi rebels’ insistence on destroying
the country and serving regional agendas, they said at the opening of the
summit.

“Saudi Arabia
did not spare any effort to address the situation in Yemen. Houthi
intransigence, pursuit of power and control, rejection of all initiatives and
their aggression against the Yemeni people led to the military
operation,” King Salman said during his address. 

“The Houthi
militants elicited support of foreign powers to threaten the region’s security. We hoped not
to resort to this decision [the operation] ... The Houthi’ aggression is the
biggest threat to the stability and security of the region."

In his address
to the summit, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi called for continued
airstrikes against the Houthis — whom he labeled as the “stooges of Iran” —
until they surrender, Arab News reported.

Calling on his
supporters to rise up in peaceful protests, Hadi said airstrikes should
continue until Houthis return the heavy and medium weapons they looted from
army depots.

Hadi accused
former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Houthis of attempting a military coup
after fighters loyal to the ousted president allied with the Houthis.

Voicing support
to the airstrikes, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said the Houthis
resorted to using weapons to spread panic among Yemenis and jeopardise regional
stability.

“They took to
weapons, neglecting the legitimacy of the presidency, and violating all
previous understandings and pacts,” he was quoted as saying by Arab News

The Egyptian
leader described the Houthis as opportunists seeking to marginalise the
remaining segments of Yemeni society.

“It was crucial
for Arabs to take action via a coalition to preserve the stability of Yemen and
its Arabic identity, and to ensure that the legitimate leadership restores
power over all Yemen,” he said.

Kuwaiti Emir
Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, who noted that Kuwait was among the
first countries to support the operation, said the Houthi aggression against
the legitimate leadership, threatens the entire region.

“After all
peaceful means to find a solution failed, and upon a call by the Yemeni
president for intervention, and in line with the GCC Defense Pact and the Arab
Treaty of Joint Defense, all Arabs stood up to defend Yemen,” said the Kuwaiti
emir.

The issue of
forming a joint Arab military force to fight terrorism and preserve the
security of Arab states was one of the priorities of leaders at the summit.

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