MANAMA Dec 9 British Foreign Secretary Boris
Johnson said on Friday he understood Saudi Arabia's concerns
about upheaval in neighbouring Yemen but he had "profound
concern" about the suffering of Yemeni people after 20 months of
Johnson was speaking at a conference in Bahrain a day after
footage was published of him accusing Saudi Arabia, an important
ally for Britain, of stoking proxy wars across the Middle East.
He said he understood Saudi Arabia's security was of
"But I must share my profound concern about the present
suffering of the people of Yemen," Johnson said in a speech at
the Manama Dialogue on Middle East security.
A Saudi-led coalition began a military campaign in March
last year to prevent the Iran-allied Houthi movement from taking
complete control of Yemen after it seized much of the north.
The conflict has killed more than 10,000 people, half of
them civilians, and unleashed a humanitarian crisis in the
poorest country in the Middle East.
Johnson said that "force alone" would not bring about a
stable Yemen and emphasised the need for a negotiated political
He added that the "hand of Iran is clearly visible in
(Reporting by William Maclean; Writing by Tom Finn; Editing by