OIC ministers warn Yemen could turn into terror haven

Emergency meeting held in Jeddah over missiles fired at Saudi Arabia

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubair (R) is seen during the emergency meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers on January 21, 2018, in Jeddah. / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER
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Failure to restore peace in Yemen could turn the country into a haven for terrorism that poses a threat its neighbours, ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation warned on Sunday.

The threat posed to the region was raised at a meeting of the OIC's ministerial contact group on Yemen that was held on the sidelines of an emergency meeting in Jeddah of the organisation's council of foreign ministers, the state news agency Wam reported.

OIC secretary general Yousef Al Othaimeen said the organisation condemned the rebels' refusal to respond positively to United Nations and regional efforts to resolve the Yemeni crisis by peaceful means, as well as their continuing violations of human rights and the recent murder of the former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh and other senior politicians.

The OIC emergency meeting was convened at Saudi Arabia's request to discuss the targeting of the Saudi capital Riyadh with ballistic missiles by the Houthis and their backers.

Saudi Arabia leads a military coalition fighting on behalf of the Yemeni government against the Houthi rebels, who are supported by Iran. Investigations by the United States and the United Nations have found evidence that the missiles fired at Riyadh were supplied by Tehran.

In a communique issued after their meeting, ministers of the Yemen contact group said the firing of missiles at Saudi Arabia was a threat to regional peace and stability.

They reiterated their commitment to Yemen's sovereignty and rejection of any interference in its internal affairs, called for the OIC to continue coordination with the King Salman Relief Centre and the United Nations to convene a donors’ conference for the reconstruction of Yemen.