Coalition to Gradually Reopen Yemen's Seaports, Airports

Coalition to Gradually Reopen Yemen's Seaports, Airports

Saudi Arabia's United Nations ambassador is denying that there has been an embargo on Yemen, saying "a temporary procedure" was taken for a few days to ensure the safety and security of Yemenis and Saudis and supplies were available.

The strike comes just a day after Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi agreed to reopen some ports to allow aid in.

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. "This siege is oppressive, and the whole world is sleeping!" people chanted as thousands gathered outside the United Nations offices in the rebel-held capital Sanaa. The move came after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired towards Riyadh, which it blamed on Tehran. 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 Houthis have denied that.

The Saudi-led coalition hopes that will prevent "the smuggling of weapons, ammunitions, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran and Iranian accomplices to the Houthi rebels", the statement said.

"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", he told reporters in Geneva in a phone conference. The humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged Yemen is now one of the deadliest in the world as starvation and lack of medical supplies leave millions at risk - the Saudi blockade of Yemen has added to the country's woes.

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Saudi Arabia said Monday that the coalition would reopen seaports and airports in areas controlled by the Yemeni government, but those in rebel-held areas, including Hudaydah and Sanaa, would remain closed.

Saudi Arabia and the USA have accused Iran of supplying the ballistic missile used in that attack.

However, Mr McGoldrick said there was "no indication" yet of the blockade being lifted.

McGoldrick says access to such ports is "helpful" but that the key need is access to the rebel-held Red Sea ports of Salif and Hodeida, closer to large population centers.

It says those ports are in Aden, Mocha and Mukalla.

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