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UK minister Boris Johnson to discuss Yemen peace during Gulf visit

LONDON: British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is traveling to the Gulf for high-level talks on issues facing the region.

The first stop for Johnson will be Oman, where he will arrive Wednesday evening. Meetings there will focus on making progress toward a political solution to the conflict in Yemen.

On Thursday Johnson will travel to Saudi Arabia where he will meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to a statement issued by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO).

The visit to Saudi Arabia will be an opportunity to discuss the crisis in Yemen and countering Iran’s destabilizing activity in the region, while reiterating the importance of the Iranian nuclear deal for the UK and KSA’s shared security interests, the FCO said.

According to the FCO, the foreign secretary will also outline how the UK can be a leading partner for Saudi Arabia’s ambitious socio-economic reform program, Vision 2030.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Johnson said: “Oman and Saudi Arabia both have crucial regional roles, particularly in finding a political solution to the crisis in Yemen. During my meetings this week I will reaffirm that there can be no military solution to the conflict; peace talks are the only long-term solution for the people of Yemen.”

Johnson added: “In tandem, we must continue to address the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. There has been progress in recent weeks with the reopening of the Hodeidah and Saleef ports, allowing vital access for food and fuel. We also welcome the Saudi-led coalition’s new humanitarian plan for Yemen. The UK continues to play a leading role in humanitarian efforts, as the second largest donor to the UN appeal.”

Johnson noted that the UK firmly supports Vision 2030, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He said that KSA’s internal reforms are diversifying the economy while delivering greater inclusivity for all Saudi citizens.

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