March 21, 2023
It’s a pleasure to be back in Aden today. I had productive meetings with the Prime Minister, other senior officials, and USAID implementing partners.
The United States is encouraged by the significant reduction in military activity on all fronts in Yemen over the past year, and we appreciate the Yemeni government’s support for a Yemeni-Yemeni peace process, under UN auspices, to bring about a just and comprehensive resolution to the conflict.
The opening of Sana’a Airport and the increased flow of trade through Hudaydah Port have brought tangible benefits to the Yemeni people. At the same time, Houthi attacks on ports and shipping have deprived the Yemeni government of most of its revenues, deepening the country’s humanitarian crisis. I call on the Houthis to foreswear such attacks and pursue a peaceful resolution to the conflict. We welcome yesterday’s announcement on prisoner exchanges and underscore the humanitarian imperative of continued engagement by the parties to reunite with their families all prisoners, detainees, arbitrarily detained persons, and the forcibly disappeared. I also call on the Houthis to release the current and former Yemeni employees of the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a whom the Houthis have held without cause for over 15 months.
The United States will continue to stand side-by-side with Yemen and its people. We pledged $444 million in humanitarian assistance for Yemen at the recent High-Level Pledging Event in Geneva and will follow up with additional support later in the year. Our development programming is helping strengthen government capacity and improve service delivery. And we are working to enhance our people-to-people ties, which includes sending Yemenis on the International Visitors Leadership Program — our flagship exchange program — for the first time since the conflict began. We look forward to working with the Yemeni government to further deepen our bilateral relationship.