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tv   News  Al Jazeera  May 8, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EDT

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saudi arabia warns civilians to leave the northern province of yemen as it sets a deadline for a new wave of air strikes. ♪ i'm david foster you are watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up. david cameron defies the polls to win a second term as britain's prime minister as three rivals step down. inside south africa's gang culture, an exclusive interview, we talk to gang members who say there's no way out of their poverty. ambassadors from norway and
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philippines among the dead as a helicopter crashes in pakistan's north. and victory in europe countries across the continent mark the 70th anniversary of defeating nazi germany in world war ii. ♪ well any saudi-lead coalition has been launching waves of air strikes on yemen, targeting once again the houthi strong hold of sa'dah. it has dropped leaflets telling civilians they have until sunset to get out. and that is around about now. the air strikes are in retaliation of houthi strikes on saudi villages. >> reporter: hours after offering a five-day humanitarian ceasefire in yemen. the saudi-lead coalition as
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launched more air strikes against the houthis. saudi army officers say the decision was in response to houthi shelling of saudi villages. >> translator: now the equation has changed. we will target those who carried out the attacks against our people, their bases, the city where houthi commanders are operating. it will go after all of the houthi commanders. >> reporter: these are some of the areas that were hit in sa'dah the power base of the houthis in northern yemen. the saudi-lead coalition said it destroyed command and telecommunications centers. the coalition dropped leaflets urging people to stay away from sa'dah's old city. fighting is continuing across the country. here on the streets of aden in the south, forces loyal to
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president hadi have been fighting for weeks to push the rebels out. but the houthis, backed by soldiers who support former president saleh insist they still have the upper hand. but in the central province of marib, the violence continues. these fighters are denying houthis access to vital oil and gas installations. tribesmen loyal to president hadi are now in control of the international airport along yemen's eastern coast. but the rest of the area has fallen to al-qaeda recently. six weeks of fighting have left yemen in tatters. hundreds have been killed and thousands of families have been displaced or had to flee the country.
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yemen's humanitarian situation gets worse every day. near the capitol sana'a people spent hours queueing for drinking water. the city which is controlled by the houthis is rationing water, fuel and food items with rising shortage in supplies. >> translator: we face a huge crisis. there's no cooking gas. there's no lek tries advertise. transportation in sana'a is almost non-exist important. the international community is calling for a ceasefire across the country so that aid can reach millions of people but delivering it may not be possible. hashem ahelbarra, al jazeera. >> let's go to saudi arabia mohamed vall our man in riyadh. is there any way of finding out whether these people -- and we're talking thousands and thousands of people -- whether they have heeded the warnings in these leaf lets and moved
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themselves to safety? and anyway where is safety? >> reporter: well according to the statement by the coalition today and that statement was dropped in leaflets as hashem ahelbarra has just said in his package -- according to that statement, at least the area of sa'dah and its surroundings is far less safe than any other part of yemen. that's the area the coalition would like to concentrate on now that the houthis have not complied to the truce offer just 24 hours a day, and they continue with their military activity across yemen. two elements that you haven't seen during the last six weeks one of them -- this is the first time the coalition declares that it is going to go after the houthi commanders and also it is the first time they dropped these kind of leaflets to an entire city or location asking the whole population to leave, and this is an indication of
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something of great magnitude, that they are planning to do there in sa'dah. sa'dah is right on the border with saudi arabia and that's where the houthis have their strong hold their planning and leadership as well. they are also in control of sana'a, and they can move their leadership to sana'a arguably but most of their bases and arms depots are in sa'dah and that's where the saudis and their allies want to go after. and also sa'dah is dangerously close to the saudi city and also they have access through mountainous areas, that's where they have -- struck in the past few days. this is the first major red line that the houthis have crossed which is attacking in the saudi cities. >> the fact that the mill stair
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spokesman said this time it was going to be a longer campaign and a harder-hitting campaign is some kind of admission that what they have done up until now just hasn't worked? >> reporter: yeah between the lines, yeah it is understood that they have -- according to them they have done what they could to send clear messages to the houthis and saleh loyalests that they want a stop to this war. the first announcement there at the end of the first phase was an offer they say that they houthis should have picked up on to just stop their military activity and that could usher a new era of work -- >> i'm going to butt in because the u.s. secretary of state and the saudi foreign minister in paris. we expect them in this joint statement to address those issues concerning yemen. and that part of the middle east. >> thank you very much for your
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patience. this afternoon we're going to do this a little bit differently. it's my pleasure to first introduce my friend and the distinguished foreign minister of saudi arabia and then i will have a few comments and then we'll be open to some questions. so welcome to the embassy, the united states in paris and thank you for your help through a very productive day. >> thank you for hosting the gcc foreign ministers at this beautiful building in paris. we had what i thought was a very productive discussion about the status of the p5-plus-1 talks regarding iran's nuclear program. we also had extensive briefing about the technical aspects of the talks that lasted over two hours. we also spent another hour and a half on camp david and the objectives of camp david and the issues that will be discussed at
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camp david. don't ask me to talk about it because i won't. but in general they have to do with the intensifying and strengthening of the security relationship between the united states of america, and the gulf cooperation council countries, as well as dealing with challenges that we -- we face in the region foremost of which is the iranian interference in the affairs of the countries of the region. we were very pleased with the -- with the discussions. i thought they were very -- extremely productive. very useful and we believe that now we have a much clearer sense of the -- what we will be discussing at camp -- what our leaders will be discussing at camp david, and having said so i will leave that part here. thanks john for hosting that meeting. and -- and for being -- having it be such a productive and useful meeting for all of us who look forward to visiting
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washington and camp david. i also wanted to pick up on something i mentioned to you yesterday when we announced that we were looking at a five-day ceasefire in yemen for humanitarian purposes in order to allow the follow of humanitarian to yemen. the ceasefire will begin this tuesday may 12th, at 11:00 pm and will last for five days and is subject to renewal if it works out. the requirements are -- first and foremost that there is a commit by the houthis and their allies including ali abdullah saleh and those forces loyal to him. these ceasefire will be throughout yemen or nowhere in yemen, and that matter is entirely up to the houthis and their allies. during the ceasefire there will be a continuation of the air and
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sea interdiction regarding the flow of weapons to the houthis and their allies in yemen. and the humanitarian and relief center in riyadh will be operational on this sunday may 10th. it will be the location where a number of organizations and u.n. efforts and any other country that wants to participate in the distribution of aid to yemen to coordinate is free to come and be part of it. we believe that it is critically important that all countries be able to send as much relief supplies as efficiently as quickly to as many yemenese as possible. the kingdom of saudi arabia ordered the contribution of $274 million to the united nations for emergency relief efforts in yemen. this is above and beyond the assistance that we are deploying
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to yemen every day, as well as the assistance that we will be providing to yemen going forward. it is our hope and desire that the houthis will come to their senses and realize that the interests of yemen and the yemeni people are -- should be the top priority for everyone and i want to make sure that i make clear that the ceasefire will -- will end should the houthis or their allies not live up to the agreement contained in this issue. the -- this is i believe, a chance for the houthis to show that they care about their people and that they care about the yemeni people. and we hope they take up this offer for the good of yemen and the people of -- yemen. so john thank you once again for hosting this meeting. it is always a pleasure to be
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with you, and exchange ideas, and i think we did this today in a very positive spirit. we thank you for this. >> well thank you very much. it was indeed constructive and positive and very very productive, and i'm grateful to you and all of our colleagues who came here together in order to help make it that. it was well prepared and i think in the end has really set the stage for a constructive meeting at camp david. i'll say a word -- just first, if i may. i want to start by expressing my congratulations to prime minister cameron and to my counterpart secretary of state philip hammond and their party for their defying the polls and winning an outright majority in the elections yesterday.
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as everybody knows, we have a very special relationship with great britain. we have deeply-shared interests and values. we work together on almost every issue that there is and now there will obviously be continuity in the relationships built and in the -- in the work that we have invested on a number of different priorities and initiatives, so i look forward to continuing to work with prime minister cameron, and with philip on all of our efforts in order to advance global peace and stability and particularly this next month and a half to finish our work together on a number of very pressing security issues. the gulf cooperation council, and our gulf partners have
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really been at the very center of america's national interests for a long period of time. and today we find ourselves cooperating on more and more challenges within the region. it is a region that is facing particular challenge at this time obviously by necessity, we -- with common interests and with -- with our neutral security and other interests at stake, we have found that it is critical for us to be able to big in to the relationship deeper in terms of ways we can cooperate, to have a greater impact on these challenges that we face and the united states is grateful for, and fortunate to have partners who have been willing to stand up with us in a coalition on daesh and any other
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number of vital interests in the region. yesterday in -- riyadh for instance, i was prif prif -- privileged to meet with king salman who had the courage and vision to embrace a fuel ceasefire for five days. and we said that here in paris we would fill out the details a little bit and with the announcement that the foreign minister has made on behalf of his majesty king salman we now that to a certainty on tuesday at 11:00 pm yemen time a ceasefire will take place country wide providing, providing, that the houthi agree that there will be no bombing, no shooting no movement of their troops or maneuvering to
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reposition for military advantage, no movement of heavy weapons or others that the ceasefire is conditioned on the houthis agreeing to live by these commitments. and it is a renewable commitment. in other words if this holds, it hopes the door to the possibility of extension and the possibility of a longer period of time for the political process to help resolve these differences. so anyone who cares about yemeni people or asserts that they do should take clear notice of the fact that a humanitarian catastrophe is building. and that they are running out of food. they are running out of medicine. they are running out of fuel and clearly, it is an important moment. his majesty, king salman has
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recognized that. and he has made the decision to try to fight for a peaceful resolution. we applaud that. and we believe that all of those who have been supportive of the houthi need at this time to encourage the leadership and all the way down through the rank and file to live by this opportunity that is a very important one and very significant in the potential consequences for yemen itself. the united nations is working with the international community now to try to organize as much humanitarian assistance as possible to be able to flow once that's fire takes effect working with and through the united nations and anybody who hears this who has an idea that they want to get assistance in
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to the people, there are organizations, world food organization, international red cross, others who work through the united nations whom they should be in contact with so this is an organized and clearly not military movement of goods in any way whatsoever. i want to be very clear about another thing. a ceasefire is not peace. ultimately the parties are going to have to find a way back to the table. and they are going to have to make tough choices about more than just a ceasefire, because even the most durable of ceasefires is not a substitute for peace. even the most durable of ceasefires is not a substitute for an inclusive, yemeni-lead political dialogue that all sides can support. and king salman of saudi arabia
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has made another initiative in order to try to create that dialogue. he has announced a ceasefire -- a conference in riyadh to which he invites all yemeni parties. now it may be that not everybody shows up we don't know. but they are invited, and we support that conference with the hopes that it might produce some further steps forward to have the political resolution but knowing that everyone agrees that that will lead into the subsequent talks to be held under the auspices of the united nations and the u.n. envoy, and we're very pleased that saudi arabia has agreed to support the u.n. in efforts to also try to help find a peaceful resolution to the situation in yemen. only a political solution by yemenese for yemenese in the
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end will actually bring an end to yemen's crisis. and we are committed to work towards the rapid transition that will anow yemen to be able to resume an inclusive transition process that brings peace and stability. in addition to yemen, we disguszed with your gcc counterparts today preparations for the summit as the foreign minister just said and that's just going to address a wide range of security issues folks. it is going to discuss the threat of region alter -- regional terrorism, the metastasizing developments it will discuss the threat of
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terrorism broadly, and it will discuss how to resolve more effectively those regional conflicts themselves. so let me be very clear also. our effort to find a diplomatic solution to the nuclear issue with respect to iran does not stem from any lessening of our concerns about all of these other destabilizing events within the region. and it's obvious to all, i think, that it's easier to address those events if the potential of a nuclear weapon has been eliminated from the equation with respect to the challenges that we face. we're also very focused on containing basis with the challenge of daesh, and the other terrorist groups and together we believe that we are making real progress. a large part of that was frankly because of the nations that are
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represented in the room there. there's been a very significant diminution of the capacity of daesh within iraq to be able to control the territory it used to control, to be able to communicate, the way it used to communicate, to be able to move the way they used to move. so we believe steadily that that strangle hold is appropriately ending and we are forcing them to change tactics and that is encouraging progress. but we still need more. and that's why we were meeting here today decision to the other reasons that i have described, because we need to all of just come together -- of us need to come together. and president obama completely understands the stakes and that's why today and at camp david we are flushing out a
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series of new commitments that will create between the united states and the gcc, a new security understanding, a new set of security initiatives that will take us beyond anything that we have had before in ways that we'll ask our partners to work with us and they will contribute and we will contribute. it is not a oneway street. it is a 2-way street with mutual interests and needs that need to be addressed. that is why we are also strengthening together the moderate opposition in syria against daesh and against a regime that has committed and organized wholesale eh fore of torture, used chemical weapons against its own people dropped barrel bombs indiscriminately on women, children schools, and hospitals, and blocked whole communities from getting food
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and medical supplies to civilians in need. so we have a big agenda. that's why we met, and that agenda is marked by new developments almost every single day. i came here to share our views, and we listened a lot today to other views, and i am confident that with camp david, those views are going to take shape in a forum that will greatly enhance our ability to meet the needs of our people and the needs of all of those people who want a future that is free of terrorism, free of coercion free of violence a future that is reflected by the opportunities that this incredible world we live in today offers people who have that kind of peace and stability. that's what we're working for, and that's what we will continue to work for. thank you, and we would be happy to take a few questions.
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>> [ inaudible ]. >> the first question is from [ inaudible ]. go ahead. >> reporter: thank you very much, mr. secretary, and mr. foreign minister. mr. secretary, first on yemen, do you think that the houthis will accept the ceasefire? and are you going to talk to your iranian and russian counterparts to ask them to use their influence? secondly mr. secretary on france the french president made a landmark visit to riyadh what is your take on this growing strategic relationship between the french and the saudis? and what are your thoughts on the [ inaudible ] passing the senate in the united states? and mr. foreign minister if i may, the coalition has declared all of sa'dah in yemen a military target. how can you talk about the
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ceasefire, and at the same time expand military operations? thank you. >> very simple. we said the ceasefire in five days on tuesday at 11:00 in this evening. the operations in sa'dah are in direct response to the houthis attacking civilians and killing civilians in saudi arabia. this is something we will not tolerate. this was a grave escalation on the part of the houthis that we will respond to. we are not going to allow them to murder our people. but the ceasefire will begin on tuesday at 11:00 pm it will last for five days. we are in touch with international relief organizations and u.n. organization to see how we can facilitate the flow of sup place into yemen. there are a lot of supplies in
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the region. whether or not we succeed in doing so will depend on what the houthis and their allies do. if they interdict, if they advance, if they commit aggression there will be no ceasefire. if they abide by the terms of the ceasefire then there will be an opportunity to help the people of yemen and so whether there is a ceasefire or not is entirely in the hands of the houthis. >> i would just add to that if i may, quickly, honing in on that issue, but i think it's an important one for all of us. really it is not hard if you pass the word and give strict orders to your people to condition the behavior of people in the context of five days of -- of requirement here. and our hope is that houthis will spread the word rapidly.
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in that is the reason that it's not beginning until tuesday. the reason is to give time assuming people accept it to both accept it to have their deliberations, not to miss an opportunity, to let people outside weigh in in order to give good counsel, and ultimately to get the word down to the rank and file what the rules are. and the rules are very straightforward. don't shoot. don't start to move around to take advantage of this. this is a humanitarian pause, and they should treat it accordingly. and if that could happen that could be the beginning of an opportunity for genuine transition. so as the foreign minister has said saudi arabia has made the big decision. they were the ones with the aircraft. they control the air space. they were flying and they totally said we're not going to
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fly. we're not going to bomb. and they are not, you know, in -- in every community on the ground to be the ones to initiate an action so if the houthi will live by this there is a chance to move forward. and we hope that they will take every advantage to pass the word down the ranks. it is possible in one place or another that somebody misses the word and something doesn't happen and something -- but the saudis have indicated, you know, they are going to not break this up over some mistake or some minor thing. they are going to try to, you know, keep this alive, but not for some bold significant, clear effort to attack people move people reposition equipment and so forth. rules are pretty clear. and we hope people will