United Nations dismisses the Saudi demand to re-open the Yemen Port

Children amidst the rubble of a house hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike- AFP

Children amidst the rubble of a house hit by a Saudi-led coalition air strike- AFP

The fiery comments came even as Saudi Arabia said on Monday that it will begin reopening airports and seaports in Yemen — those in areas not controlled by the rebels — after days of closing them over a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh.

Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi reiterated at a news conference at United Nations headquarters in NY on Monday that closed seaports and airports will start reopening within the 24 hours promised late Sunday. He underscored that a United Nations verification and inspection mechanism is already in place and could work with the Saudi-led coalition on implementing strict procedure but Saudia has to open the port.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia's United Nations ambassador said the coalition would take steps to ease the blockade but would not reopen a key rebel-held port to aid shipments unless tighter inspections were put in place.

"If we don't have the fuel to deliver our supplies to millions of starving Yemeni families, we will continue to witness more children dying of hunger", Muhrez said.

Rebel authorities in Yemen said on Tuesday that a Saudi-led air strike had destroyed a navigation station at Sanaa worldwide airport, which is critical to receiving already limited aid shipments. In March 2015, the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Persian Gulf countries launched airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request.

On Monday Saudi agreed to reopen ports in government controlled areas, but demanded extra security measures be put in place around the rebel controlled port of Hodeida.

Transport minister Mourad al-Halimi had said Yemenia flights to the pro-government-held cities of Aden and Seiyun would resume on Sunday, but the national carrier said it did not have the necessary permits to fly. This does not replace Hodeidah port and Sanaa aiport - we need to allow these ports to operate as normal.

However, Mr McGoldrick said there was "no indication" yet of the blockade being lifted. The resolution does not address whether USA support for the Saudi-led coalition in the conflict triggers the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which lawmakers are split over.

The humanitarian calamity in Northern Yemen, fueled by Saudi Arabia's blockade, has been killing large numbers of people, a result of lack of medicine and increasingly scarce food. The Houthis have denied that.

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