Yemen’s Foreign Minister visits Norway

Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Mubarak is visiting Norway today, as his first stop on a tour of Europe.

Minister of Foreign Affairs ine Eriksen Søreide received Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Mubarak. Credit: Guri Solberg, MFA
Minister of Foreign Affairs ine Eriksen Søreide received Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed bin Mubarak as the country is on the brink of a famine on a scale the world has not seen for many decades. Credit: Guri Solberg, MFA

‘I am deeply concerned about the crisis in Yemen. At my meeting with Foreign Minister bin Mubarak, I stressed that the conflict can only be solved at the negotiating table. All parties must cooperate with the UN Special Envoy for Yemen and must be willing to accept compromises in order to find a political solution,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.  

Norway supports the UN’s efforts to promote a ceasefire and a political solution. Norway also gives high priority to Yemen in its work in the UN Security Council. 

‘Prior to the meeting with Foreign Minister bin Mubarak, I had talks with the UN’s incomming new Special Envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, to discuss specific ways in which Norway can continue to support the UN’s efforts in Yemen,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.

The UN has estimated that more than 20 million Yemenis will require humanitarian assistance and protection this year as result of the war, which started in 2015. Nearly four million people have been internally displaced since the war started. The country is on the brink of a famine on a scale the world has not seen for many decades.

‘The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is man-made and is having a devastating impact on the civilian population. According to the UN, this is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The situation for children is particularly grave. Some 11 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance, 2.25 million children under the age of five are suffering from acute malnutrition, and 2 million children are out of school,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said. 

Norway provides substantial humanitarian support to Yemen, through the UN, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and various NGOs. So far this year, Norway has contributed close to NOK 210 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen. In addition, Norway allocates a high level of core support through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, the World Food Programme, and the UN Refugee Agency, to which Norway is a major donor. Since 2015, Norway has provided a total of approximately NOK 1.5 billion in humanitarian support to Yemen. This includes support channelled through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund.

‘I assured Foreign Minister bin Mubarak that Norway would continue to provide humanitarian aid to Yemen, including increasing its support for mine action activities. To maintain humanitarian support and ensure that the assistance reaches those in need, humanitarian organisations must be given safe and unimpeded access,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.

As in all her previous meetings with Yemeni foreign ministers, Ms Eriksen Søreide also raised the case of Martine Vik Magnussen.

‘The UK authorities are in charge of the investigation and any criminal prosecution, but Norway considers it important to request that the Yemeni authorities assist in the extradition and prosecution of the suspect,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.