Secretary Antony J. Blinken and Yemeni Chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council Rashad Al-Alimi before their meeting

Mr. AL-ALIMI: (Through interpreter) I am delighted to meet His Excellency the Secretary of State of the United States, Mr. Blinken and his accompanying delegation. And we’re always on the lookout – we’re always looking forward to meeting the secretary. We first met in Jeddah. It was a fruitful and very positive meeting. And today, we look forward to this meeting also yielding positive results and strengthening US-Yemeni relations, which are historic and strategic at all levels. Once again, I welcome Mr. Secretary and his accompanying delegation, and I am very happy to have this meeting. Thanks.

SECRETARY BLINKEN: Well, thank you very much, Mr President, and it’s very, very good to see you again. I very much appreciated our meeting in Jeddah. I think it’s fair to say that the truce, the effects of which are felt across Yemen, has made a profound difference in improving people’s lives, and your own leadership in maintaining this truce has makes a huge difference. I hope now that we can continue to work on it, to expand it through the efforts of the United Nations and to achieve lasting peace for all the Yemeni people. But in all of these efforts, your leadership has been vital, and we commend him for that.

I would also like to point out that one of the things we are devoting a lot of attention and time to here this week during the UN High Level Week is the challenge of food insecurity. As we have seen in recent years in the wake of COVID, before this climate change, and more recently conflicts, including Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, deep food insecurity affects well over 200 million people. on this planet, including, of course, in Yemen.

But one of the positive things we’ve seen with the deal allowing the export of grain and food from Odessa to Ukraine has been the improvement in getting food to the people who need it, including including one of the Black Sea ships bound for Yemen. It is therefore vital that we maintain this agreement, that the ships continue to circulate, even if we work, of course, to end Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. So that’s something we’ll talk about later this week.

But for now, we are very focused today on the efforts that you have made, and that we are all making, to maintain the truce, and we hope to expand it in the days to come.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Kevin E. Boling