Saudi-led coalition to keep Yemeni port open

Saudi-led coalition to keep Yemeni port open

Riyadh, Dec 20 (IANS) The Saudi Arabia-led Arab coalition on Wednesday announced it will allow Yemen's main port to remain open for 30 days to receive humanitarian aid.

The coalition said it would permit the entry of commercial ships, including those carrying fuel and food, to the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, according to a statement released in the Saudi Press Agency.

The coalition said the port would continue to be open at the request of the UN special envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and out of the coalition members' eagerness to provide assistance to the Yemeni people.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels toward the Saudi capital Riyadh.

A previous missile fired from Yemen toward Riyadh on November 4 had caused the Saudi coalition to close Yemen's borders for three weeks, including the Houthi-controlled port at Hodeidah.

Yemen's population is heavily reliant on humanitarian aid "including 8.4 million Yemenis who are a step away from famine", according to a statement by the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick.

Since 2015, Saudi Arabia has headed a coalition that supports the internationally-recognized government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The Saudi-led bombing campaign has destroyed much of Yemen's infrastructure and led to a humanitarian catastrophe.

--IANS

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