WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after voting to advance Senate Joint Resolution 54, which would end unauthorized U.S. military support for the Saudi- and UAE-led intervention in Yemen.
“The conflict in Yemen has become a humanitarian nightmare and our involvement does not advance the interests of the United States, our partners, or regional stability.
“America’s strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia, including the mutual desire to prevent the expansion of Iranian influence and terrorist groups who seek to do us harm, is not helped by our military involvement in the Yemen conflict, or our military support to Saudi Arabia.
“The suffering caused by this conflict is beyond measure. More than 10,000 people have been killed and over 22.2 million people – nearly 75% of the population – are at grave risk. Hunger and malnutrition are threatening almost 400,000 innocent children under the age of five. The country has now seen the world’s largest cholera outbreak, which has killed thousands. Morally, continuing our military involvement in this disaster is simply not an option.
“I also would like my colleagues to look beyond our direct military support to the role U.S. arms sales play in worsening the conflict. These sales cannot come at the expense of human rights, mass atrocities, and regional destabilization. Saudi Arabia has shown a total disregard for international law by leveling devastating attacks on civilians, including young children.
“This resolution does not impact our ability to continue our military fight against Al-Qaeda or terrorist groups in the region. It simply refocuses our efforts to end the conflict in Yemen through peaceful and diplomatic means, including by supporting the critical work of UN Special Envoy Matthew Griffiths. It is clear that after more than three years of devastating bloodshed that it will be impossible to end this conflict through military means. It is imperative that we quickly reach a negotiated solution to the crisis to restore stability, while also holding the worst perpetrators of violence against civilians and human rights abuses accountable.”