Saudi UN ambassador denies Yemen embargo

15 November, 2017, 00:53 | Author: Ora Austin
  • The Saudi-led military coalition battling the Houthi movement in Yemen has allowed work to resume at the Port of Aden

For ports in rebel-held or disputed territories, such as the city of Hodeida, the mission said it has asked the U.N.to send a team of experts to discuss ways to make sure weapons can't be smuggled in. Their faces painted the colours of the Yemeni flag or in traditional dress, protesters marched to demand the end of a blockade on the country's ports, airports and border crossings, imposed last week by a Saudi-led military coalition battling the country's Huthi rebels.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen announced a suspension of border crossing via air, marine and land routes following a ballistic missile fired from Yemen targeting Saudi capital Riyadh on November 6. The move came after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired towards Riyadh, which it blamed on Tehran.

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted for a resolution declaring that U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen is not authorized under previous legislation which has given the president power to combat terror overseas and invade Iraq in 2003. On Monday, the coalition said it would reopen ports in areas held by allied forces and loosen restrictions it had raised after the firing of the missile, which was intercepted near Riyadh's worldwide airport.

In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday, Iran's foreign minister called on the world body to urgently address the deplorable situation in the war-torn Yemen.

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Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi told reporters in NY on Monday that ports in government-controlled areas such as Aden, Mukalla and Mocha will be reopened, but demanded more rigorous checks at the Red Sea port of Hodeida. "Without Sanaa airport and Hodeidah and Salif seaports fully functioning and able to receive cargo, the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen will continue", Dujarric told reporters in NY.

"I don't think discussions (on new inspections) should hamper the port remaining open", he added. United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock last week warned that unless the blockade is lifted, Yemen will face "the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims".

The blockade "is complicating what is already a catastrophic situation", McGoldrick said. Saudi Arabia is backing supporters of ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi against rebels called the Houthis, who are backed by Iran and allied with militants supporting former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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