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Fact-Checking Trump’s Speech to the United Nations

Category: Political News,Politics

what Mr. Trump said

“The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have pledged billions of dollars to aid the people of Syria and Yemen, and they are pursuing multiple avenues to ending Yemen’s horrible, horrific civil war.”

the facts

Mr. Trump is right that the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have contributed funds to ease humanitarian crises in Syria and Yemen. But his comment glosses over the three countries’ roles in Yemen’s civil war.

The governments of Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. are the top two donors to the United Nations’ humanitarian response plan in Yemen, contributing nearly $1 billion combined. Additionally, the two countries donated an additional $375 million through other programs, the data show. Qatar also contributed $500,000 to the United Nations response plan.

In Syria, Saudi Arabia donated $18.6 million this year to the world body’s humanitarian response plan and $24.3 million in 2017. Qatar contributed $2.2 million in 2018 and $29.5 million last year, the same reports show.

Dollars aside, it’s worth noting that the United Nations and human rights groups have said that the humanitarian crisis in Yemen has been exacerbated by the country’s continuing civil war. A Saudi-led coalition — including the U.A.E. and the United States — has since 2015 fought Iranian-linked Houthi rebels who ousted the government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi of Yemen.

Qatar initially was part of the international coalition fighting the Houthi rebels, but was expelled last year after Riyadh accused the tiny nation of funding terrorism, cozying up to Iran and welcoming dissidents.

A report by United Nations investigators in August accused the Saudi-led coalition of potential war crimes, including charges of killing thousands of civilians in airstrikes, torturing detainees and conscripting child soldiers. The same report also accused the Houthi rebels of possible war crimes.

what Mr. Trump said

“That is why so many countries in the Middle East strongly supported my decision to withdraw the United States from the horrible 2015 Iran nuclear deal and reimpose nuclear sanctions.”

the facts

The reaction to the United States’ withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal in May was more varied in Middle Eastern countries than Mr. Trump’s claim would suggest.


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