UK foreign minister to discuss resurgence of Houthi violence on visit to Saudi Arabia

The Iran-backed rebels in Yemen have been accused of impeding aid deliveries

FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2019 file photo, a Houthi fighter holds a weapon during a gathering aimed at mobilizing more fighters for the Houthi movement, in Sanaa, Yemen. Houthi rebels in Yemen have blocked half of the United Nations’ aid delivery programs in the war-torn country — a strong-arm tactic to force the agency to give them greater control over the massive humanitarian campaign, along with a cut of billions of dollars in foreign assistance, according to aid officials and internal documents obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)
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Britain's Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab was in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to discuss pushing ahead with the Yemen peace process amid a "recent surge in Houthi violence".

Mr Raab will also touch on the constraints of getting humanitarian aid to Yemenis during the meetings in Riyadh.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been accused of impeding the flow of humanitarian assistance, with some agencies considering suspending aid deliveries if things don't change.

A British Foreign Office spokesperson said Mr Raab held a number of "private meetings" with Saudi officials.

Mr Raab, who visited Oman on Monday and Turkey on Tuesday, will meet Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, National Security Adviser Dr Musaad Al Aiban and Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

Discussions will also focus on measures to resolve the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, security and regional stability and the threat of climate change.

"Saudi Arabia is one of our closest trade partners and plays an important role in keeping Britain safe," Mr Raab said.

“As a valued partner, we have to work closely together to tackle the crisis in Yemen, terrorism and climate change, as well as pursuing reform and engaging on human rights issues.”

During his two-day visit, Mr Raab will also visit the Unesco World Heritage site of Diriyah, the historic city which has been transformed as part of a restoration project.

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