“This (Yemen war) can engulf the whole region in another conflict,” Abadi said. “We don’t need another sectarian war in the region.” (Reuters, 15 April)
Abadi said convincing Saudi Arabia to halt its offensive in Yemen could be difficult. The Saudi-led alliance of ten Sunni countries is engaged in a three-week-old air campaign against the Shia Huthi (AnsarAllah) insurgents who are allied with Iran. They have taken over the capital Sanaa and have advanced to other parts of the country, including Aden, the capital of southern Yemen.
“From what I understand from the (Obama) administration, the Saudis are not helpful. They don’t want a ceasefire now,” Abadi said.
The White House, however, denied Obama had criticized Saudi Arabia in his talks with Abadi and renewed U.S. support for the anti-Huthi military campaign by the Saudi-led coalition.
“We firmly support current GCC-led operations… which is why we have been providing support for coalition operations,” said National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey. (Reuters, 15 April)
File photo: Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in a news conference in Baghdad, 31 March 2015 (Ahmed Saad/Reuters)