RIYADH – Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz announced on Tuesday the creation of a Riyadh-based center to coordinate the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen in cooperation with the United Nations.
The monarch made the announcement during his opening speech at the consultative meeting between heads of Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, member states, with the additional attendance of French President François Hollande, the guest of honor.
Salman clarified that the decision to lead the military intervention in Yemen aimed “to cease the deteriorating situation” and was only made “after those who implemented the coup (Shiite Houthi rebels) rejected the GCC initiative” that saw the power transfer in Yemen in 2012.
The situation requires doubling efforts to curb “the expansionist ambitions that threaten the region,” the king added, in clear reference to Iran.
The Saudi leader stressed that Operation Restore Hope will follow the coalition’s military operations in Yemen.
In the spirit of reconciliation, Salman urged all Yemeni political forces to join the national dialogue conference, scheduled to begin on May 17 in Riyadh.