Saudi 'reforms' won’t succeed if Yemen war continues: Lebanon's Jumblatt

The file photo shows the leader of Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), Walid Jumblatt.

The leader of Lebanon's Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), Walid Jumblatt, has warned Saudi Arabia that the kingdom’s so-called modernization plan will end in failure unless Riyadh stops its deadly war on the impoverished Yemeni nation.

Addressing Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a Saturday tweet, Jumblatt said: "The challenges are tremendous and the modernization of the Kingdom is an Islamic and Arabic necessity but this mission cannot be successful while the Yemen war continues."

"Enough of the destruction and siege in Yemen and enough of the human and material drain on the Kingdom's people and resources," he added. "Let the Yemeni people choose who it wants," the veteran Lebanese politician pointed out.

The Saudi-led military coalition has been ceaselessly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstate the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of the regime in Riyadh.

According to the latest figures, the war has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis and wounded thousands more. The Saudi aggression has also taken a heavy toll on the country's facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

A malnourished Yemeni child receives treatment at a hospital in the capital Sana’a on November 22, 2017, as war-wracked Yemen is grappling with the Saudi-led blockade. (Photo by AFP)

Riyadh imposed a tight blockade on nearly all Yemeni air, land and sea ports on November 6, prompting human rights and charity groups to raise the alarm over the deteriorating situation in the country as people, particularly children, are increasingly suffering from the lack of food and medical supplies. 

Jumblatt also pointed to the surprise resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Saudi Arabia this month and criticized the way Hariri had been treated by "some Saudi circles" -- the first time that the veteran Lebanese politician directly criticized Saudi Arabia over the recent political crisis in Lebanon.

Hariri stunned the entire nation on November 4, when he announced his resignation in a statement broadcast from Saudi Arabia and plunged his homeland into a new political crisis.

Top Lebanese officials, including President Michel Aoun, accused Saudi Arabia of forcing his resignation and detaining him in the kingdom for days before letting him leave.

The premier finally returned home late on Tuesday after visits to France, Cyprus and Egypt. Hariri temporarily put his resignation on hold following a request by Aoun to reconsider the decision.

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