By Huan Yuping
Recently, the coalition forces of the United States and Britain launched new strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen. The escalation of the crisis in the Red Sea has triggered widespread concerns in the international community about the further rise in the overall security risks in the region.
The use of force will not help resolve the issue, but only exacerbate tensions.
The waters of the Red Sea are an important international transportation route for goods and energy. It is in the common interest of the international community to ensure unimpeded access to the waterway and the safety of passing vessels. All parties should work together to safeguard the security of the waters.
Major countries should play a constructive and responsible role in keeping the shipping lanes safe in the Red Sea waters. Any action must abide by the norms governing international relations, and respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yemen and other countries bordering the Red Sea.
The military actions taken by the U.S. and Britain have damaged infrastructure and caused casualties of civilians. They couldn’t help to protect the safety of merchant shipping, and even increased the overall security risks in the region. This is something that the international community does not want to see.
The international community has voiced concerns and opposition after the U.S. and Britain launched military strikes.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called upon all parties involved not to escalate even more the situation in the interest of peace and stability in the Red Sea and the wider region. He called for every effort to be made to ensure that Yemen pursues a path towards peace and that the work undertaken thus far to end the conflict in Yemen should not be lost.
Saudi Arabia stressed in a statement the importance of maintaining the security and stability of the region. It demanded freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and called on all parties involved to exercise restraint and avoid escalation.
Egypt called for unifying international and regional efforts to ease tensions in the region and ensure the safety of navigation in the Red Sea.
Iran believed that arbitrary attacks would only make the Middle East more insecure and unstable.
Iraq said in a statement that expanding the scope of targets does not represent a solution to the problem, rather, it will lead to continued spillover and proliferation of risks.
The international community has a clear understanding of the negative effects brought about by military strikes on the regional situation. It hopes to resolve the crisis with political means that address both the symptoms and root causes.
The escalating tensions in the Red Sea indicate that the abuse of force will only make bigger crises. The world is seeing the spillover effects of the new round of conflict between Palestine and Israel, and as the factors of instability in the region are clearly upswing, the risk of more forces being dragged into the conflict is on the rise.
It’s obviously contradictory that some countries are actually abusing military force while stressing the importance of preventing the spillover of the conflict. The UN Security Council has never authorized any country to use force against Yemen. The military actions taken against Yemen not only have increased security risks in the Red Sea, but also could possibly impact the political process of Yemen.
Since the 21st century, the abuse of force has only brought turmoil and humanitarian disasters to the Middle East, as evidenced by what has happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
U.S. magazine Foreign Policy said that Washington’s unwavering devotion to its current approach to the Middle East has produced a vicious cycle: By committing itself to the root of regional instability, the U.S. repeatedly finds itself having to confront challenges that are largely the product of its own presence and policies in the region.
The escalating tensions in the Red Sea indicate that an ultimate solution never comes from the ignorance of justice. Conflicts in the Middle East are complex. The participation of extra-regional countries in Middle East affairs should consider the region’s reality, coordinate the interests of all relevant parties and stick to the principle of fairness and justice.
However, some countries have long implemented tactics like “bolster one and bash the other” and “divide and rule” in the Middle East for their own geopolitical interests, which makes it difficult for the region to establish stable security orders.
The current crisis in the Red Sea is a spillover of the conflict in Gaza, and the prolonged failure to resolve the Gaza conflict is attributed to certain countries’ blatant prejudices and repeated obstruction of UN Security Council draft resolutions calling for a ceasefire.
The fundamental problems of the tensions in the Red Sea cannot be solved by “cut-the-knot” military actions with an ignorance of the root cause. As a commentary published on the website of Al Jazeera said, the military strikes “clash with the Biden administration’s stated goals of de-escalation and fail to address the root cause of the soaring tensions in the region.”
The Middle East is on the edge of extreme danger. What’s the most urgent now is to cease fire in Gaza, and major countries must play a constructive role in stopping violence.
Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said that the central issue that needed to be addressed lies in Gaza, and only by resolving the Gaza issue can all other issues be resolved.
The ceasefire is the prevailing priority, and humanitarian aid is the imperative moral responsibility. The future arrangement of Gaza must fully respect the Palestinian people’s aspiration, and the two-state solution is the sure path to a just settlement of the Palestinian issue. Justice has already been delayed, but it should never be denied.
Major countries should exert their influence by abandoning geopolitical self-interests, bearing in mind the real interests of the people in the Middle East, solving disputes and conflicts through political means and playing a constructive role in promoting peace in the region.
Only when all parties stand on the side of peace and justice, implement the two-state solution and push for a comprehensive, just and sustainable solution to the question of Palestine at an early date, can the Middle East achieve lasting peace and stability.