Chinese envoy urges Yemen’s Houthis to respect right of navigation in Red Sea

Yemenis displaced by conflict carry humanitarian aid on the outskirts of the northeastern city of Marib, Yemen, March 19, 2024. /CFP

Yemenis displaced by conflict carry humanitarian aid on the outskirts of the northeastern city of Marib, Yemen, March 19, 2024. /CFP

A Chinese envoy on Monday urged Yemen’s Houthi group to respect the right of commercial vessels of all countries to navigate in the waters of the Red Sea and to immediately stop the harassment.

Speaking at a UN Security Council meeting on Yemen, Geng Shuang, China’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, stressed the necessity of pushing for the situation in the Red Sea to cool down as soon as possible to solve the Yemeni issue.

Over 15 percent of Yemenis have been displaced and millions are in urgent need of assistance with food and medical shortages, due to Yemen’s civil war, which began in September 2014 when the Houthi group seized the capital Sana’a, according to the UN. The organization described the situation as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

Calling on a political settlement of the Yemen issue, Geng said that all parties concerned should focus on the well-being of the Yemeni people, remove interference, and work together to promote a comprehensive political process that is led by the Yemenis.

He called for the international community to step up its humanitarian assistance to Yemen and fulfill its pledges as soon as possible, providing food, medicine and other goods that the Yemeni people urgently need .

Noting the situation in Yemen and the Red Sea is closely related to the Gaza conflict, the Chinese envoy urged the implementation of Security Council resolutions 2712, 2720 and 2728, and the countries concerned to intensify their efforts to persuade and put pressure on Israel.