Plenary speech on the situation in Yemen

Marietje
Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group Mr President, Commissioner, colleagues. The poor people of Yemen have suffered structurally from a lack of inclusive democratic governments, and the tensions and violence that that have resulted, for the past decades. Thousands have been killed and many more injured in the latest eruption of violence alone that started in the spring of this year. A report that the Saudi-led coalition is using cluster bombs should be investigated thoroughly by the United Nations and must have serious consequences, if confirmed. Independently-led investigations should also look at other crimes committed to assess whether these amount to crimes against humanity. The people of Yemen deserve justice, and a de-escalation of violence is needed to restabilise the country. There should be more respect for human life, and the human suffering must end. We therefore call on all parties engaged in this conflict to stop the use of violence, because while people suffer, al-Qaeda, so-called Islamic State, and other terrorist organisations benefit and grow amidst the chaos in Yemen. Ongoing insecurity is further stifling humanitarian efforts, leading to historic and tremendous chaos and crisis. As we can see, a toxic downward spiral is unfolding. The terrorists are going as far as recruiting children for their activities and using them as soldiers, and I think that that is disgraceful. We must work through and ensure that there is dialogue and de-escalation. But there is a political solution, including a more constructive role by regional actors, which – as many colleagues have pointed out – are very much involved in the situation in Yemen, leading to more and more violence. The EU should also reconsider its partnerships with some countries in the Middle East in this context. Foreign actors should stop the interventions, as I mentioned. They should stop adding fuel to the fire. We, as Europe, must support any UN efforts to lead in a dialogue that can lead to a peaceful and political solution to this terrible conflict. But the EU itself should do more and take a leadership position in ensuring that these UN efforts succeed.