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United Nations dismisses Saudi conditions to reopen Yemen port

15 Novembre 2017

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.

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.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to push back the Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa, and restore the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

Al-Mouallimi also accused the Houthis of diverting humanitarian aid "to fulfill their own requirements" and "to trade in the black market and achieve exorbitant profits at the expense of the Yemeni people".

Despite the Saudi announcement, a top leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels on Monday vowed retaliation against the oil-rich kingdom over its disastrous blockade of his war-torn country.

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Tuesday's move to ease the blockade came three days after the coalition reopened Aden seaport and Alwadiah land border crossing between Saudi Arabia and northeast Yemen, but the coalition has kept the Houthi-controlled northern ports shut. The Saudi closure had drawn global condemnation and fears of a worsening humanitarian disaster in Yemen. The more the blockade tightens, he said, the more the Houthis will develop their abilities to "respond to the assault of the enemy".

The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, faced widespread global criticism over the closure, with the U.N. and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of already suffering people closer to "starvation and death".

The mission's announcement came in a statement early on Monday.

Saudi Arabia announced it shut down all ports after a Houthi ballistic missile attack near Riyadh's worldwide airport. The Houthis have denied that.

United Nations dismisses Saudi conditions to reopen Yemen port