DFID – YEMEN – 7 November 2017

Dr Julian Lewis: Have the Government made an assessment of the current political convulsions in Saudi Arabia? If so, might there be implications for the situation in Yemen?

[The Minister of State, Department for International Development (Alistair Burt): Well, if the House has 20 minutes – [Laughter.] In an ever-fascinating region, to add to what we know about what is happening in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the moment would take a little while. Recent events in Saudi Arabia include Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman consolidating his already strong position by taking action at the weekend on corruption as part of his efforts to drive Saudi Arabia forward. He believes that the “Vision 2030” plan – the economic and social advancement of Saudi Arabia – cannot be achieved without dealing with corruption, which is so widespread across the region. The decision that certain individuals had to be arrested and questioned about their activities has had a clear impact.

The relevance to Yemen is limited, but there is no doubt about the impact of the missile strike on Saudi Arabia, in addition to the missile strikes that already take place. The House does not always concentrate on the number of civilians in Saudi Arabia who have lost their lives as a result of missiles from Yemen. My right hon. Friend is right that the combination of the two factors means that we have to work even harder to try to find a negotiated solution, which is what all parties now seriously want.]