Remarks by Secretary Blinken and PLC President Al-Alimi Prior to Their Meeting in New York


MR AL-ALIMI:  (Via interpreter) I am delighted to meet His Excellency Secretary of the U.S. – of State Mr. Blinken and accompanying delegation.  And we are always look – we always look forward to meeting the Secretary.  We met for the first time in Jeddah.  It was a fruitful meeting, and very positive.  And today we look forward for this meeting to also result in positive outcomes and to enhance U.S.-Yemeni relations, which are historic and strategic at all levels.  Once again, I would like to welcome Mr. Secretary and his accompanying delegation, and I’m very delighted to have this meeting.  Thank you.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Well, thank you very much, Mr. President, and it’s very, very good to see you see again.  I appreciated very much our meeting in Jeddah.  I think it’s fair to say that the truce, whose effects are being felt throughout Yemen, has made a profound difference in improving people’s lives, and your own leadership in working to sustain that truce has made a huge difference.  I hope now we can continue to work on it, to expand it through the efforts of the United Nations and produce a durable peace for all the people of Yemen.  But in all of these efforts, your leadership has been vital, and we applaud it.

I would also note that one of the things that we’re spending a lot of focus and time on here this week at High-Level Week at the UN is the challenge of food insecurity.  As we’ve seen over the last years as a result of COVID, before that climate change, and more recently conflict, notably Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, profound food insecurity touch well over 200 million people on this planet, including, of course, in Yemen.

But one of the positive that we’ve seen with the agreement to allow the export of grains and food from Odesa in Ukraine has been improvement in food reaching people who need it, including one of the ships from the Black Sea going to Yemen.  So it’s vital that we sustain this agreement, that the ships keep flowing, even as we work, of course, to end Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.  So that’s something we’ll be talking about later this week.

But for now, we’re very focused today on the efforts that you’ve made, and that we’re all making, to sustain the truce, and we hope to expand it in the days ahead.

Thank you, Mr. President.