November 12, 2021

Menendez, Risch, Meeks, McCaul Joint Statement on Houthi Breach of U.S. Embassy in Yemen

SFRC and HFAC leadership call for immediate Houthi release of U.S. embassy-Yemen staff

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Representatives Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Michael McCaul (R-Texas), Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today released the following joint statement to condemn the Houthi breach of the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen, and the subsequent harassment and detainment of U.S. current and former locally-employed staff:

“We are deeply concerned by reports that the Houthis have breached our embassy compound in Sana’a and detained and harassed a number of U.S. locally employed staff and former staff employed by the United Nations. Such acts violate international law and basic principles of human rights, and must not be tolerated.

“This is just the latest in a series of violent acts by the Houthis. Over the past year, the Houthis have carried out hundreds of cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia threatening civilians, including American citizens, and deployed numerous ballistic missiles inside Yemen. Their renewed offensive against the strategically important governorate of Marib has upended countless Yemeni lives, triggered fresh waves of displacement, and exacerbated the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

“The Houthis have long expressed a desire to assume a greater role in the governance of Yemen, but with governance comes responsibility and a need to uphold the basic principles of human rights and international law. Breaching the sovereign territory of a foreign embassy and threatening and detaining its staff clearly demonstrate the Houthis have no interest in peace, nor in making the changes necessary to become legitimate members of the international community.

“The Houthis should immediately release all U.S. and U.N. staff, and suspend their campaign of harassment. Failing to do so is unacceptable and will have consequences.” 

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