The US has denounced Yemeni Al Houthi rebels’ stepped-up attacks on Saudi Arabia and confirmed its commitment to help the kingdom defend itself, the Saudi news agency SPA reported Friday.
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Austin stressed the importance of strategic defence partnership between the two countries and Saudi Arabia’s “pivotal role” in regional security and stability, SPA said.
In recent week, Al Houthis, supported by Iran, have intensified their attacks on Saudi Arabia.
Earlier this month, US President Joe Biden declared a halt to his country’s support for a military campaign in Yemen, pushing for a political solution there.
The US has also revoked the designation of Al Houthis as terrorists due to the humanitarian crisis in impoverished Yemen.
The designation was a last-minute decision adopted by the administration of former president Donald Trump.
Biden also named Timothy Lenderking, a veteran diplomat, as the US special envoy for Yemen’s peace. Both Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government welcomed Biden’s call for peace.
Al Houthis plunged Yemen into a devastating war in late 2014 when they unseated the internationally recognised government and seized parts of the country, including the capital Sana’a.
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