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

The Saudi-led military coalition battling the Houthi movement in Yemen has allowed work to resume at the Port of Aden

The Saudi-led military coalition battling the Houthi movement in Yemen has allowed work to resume at the Port of Aden

Although Iran denies backing the Houthi rebels, the Saudi-led coalition said it will continue to keep the seaport closed until the United Nations comes up with a program that ensures weapons intended for the Houthis do not make it into the country.

Hedile noted the first flight carrying 218 passengers took off today. The move came after Saudi Arabia intercepted a missile fired towards Riyadh, which it blamed on Tehran.

"We have some 21 million people needing assistance and seven million of those are in famine-like conditions and rely completely on food aid", he said.

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"There is no embargo", Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said.

Al-Mouallimi told reports from NY that the Coalition would conduct this process in complete agreement with Yemen's internationally recognized government, to allow the safe delivery of humanitarian aid.

"This halted the only flights at Sanaa airport - those of the United Nations and other global organisations delivering humanitarian assistance", the rebel-run General Authority for Civil Aviation said.

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Meanwhile, Minister of Local Administration, Abdul Raqeeb Fateh said that the Yemeni government welcomed the statement issued by Saudi Arabia's United Nations ambassador to reopen the seaports and airports of Yemen's liberated area in the next 24 hours. "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.

He also said that the more the blockade tightens, the more the Houthis will develop their abilities to "respond to the assault of the enemy". The coalition closed all Yemen air, land and seaports last week in response to a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh. However, Saudi Arabia demanded more rigorous checks at the Red Sea port of Hodeida, which is being controlled by the rebels.

So far, Saudi wants to bring supplies into Yemen via the ports of Jizan and Aden, a plan McGoldrick said was risky and slow.

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Aden, on the south coast of Aden, is the stronghold of the internationally recognised, Saudi-backed government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi. More than 2,000 Yemenis have died in a cholera outbreak now affecting almost one million people, AFP reported. And landing aid there would also involve having to cross front lines to deliver it.

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