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Yemen

Published on March 31, 2015
Interview given by M. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to France 24
New York, March 27, 2015

(…)

Q. – Regarding Yemen, we have Shia militias supported by Iran and by former president Saleh, and on the other [side] we have a president on the run who had more or less forged an alliance with jihadists to counter the Houthis. Which side does France support?

THE MINISTER – France supports the legitimate president because that’s the only position in line with international law. We’ve expressed our disagreement with the action of the Houthis, who want to overthrow this legitimate president. It’s possible that all this will come to the Security Council; we’ll say the legitimate president must be restored and discussions must be embarked on to achieve an inclusive solution.

Q. – Two days ago, Saudi Arabia spearheaded a coalition to intervene militarily in Yemen against the Shia Houthis. For its part, Shia Iran has demanded an immediate cessation of all airstrikes against Yemen and its people. Isn’t there a regional risk should Iran also decide to intervene to help its allies on the ground and restore the balance of power?

THE MINISTER – Yes, of course, you’re absolutely right. That risk exists, and that’s why we don’t think it’s legitimate for Iran to provide its support, when there’s a president in place who mustn’t be chased out in this way. (…)./.

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