Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Coalition to Gradually Reopen Yemen’s Seaports, Airports

Coalition to Gradually Reopen Yemen’s Seaports, Airports

Tuesday, 14 November, 2017 - 06:00
Saudi forces on Nov. 4 intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile near Riyadh international airport, reportedly fired from Yemen by the Houthi rebels/AFP

Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that the Coalition Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen would begin gradually reopening airports and seaports in Yemen, days after closing them over a Houthi ballistic attack on Riyadh.

Speaking on behalf of the Kingdom, Saudi Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Abdullah al-Mouallimi said that the Coalition would start opening the ports and airports in the liberated areas.

He said that the first step in this process will begin in 24 hours and would involve the seaports of Aden, Mocha and Mukalla.

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

The ambassador also said the Houthi-controlled ports, including Hodeida, should remain closed and he called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to send a delegation to Riyadh to “review current procedures to enhance and deliver a more robust verification and inspection mechanism aimed at facilitating the flow of humanitarian and commercial shipments while preventing the smuggling of weapons, ammunition, missile parts and cash.”

A statement issued by the Coalition on Monday said it hopes the UN teams of experts would prevent "the smuggling of weapons, ammunitions, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran and Iranian accomplices to the Houthi rebels.”

After a Nov. 4 ballistic missile attack near the Riyadh international airport by Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia had announced it shut down all ports in Yemen.

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

The minister called on the international community to exert all their efforts and prevent the smuggling of all kinds of weapons to the rebel militias and to stop Iran’s expansion in Yemen.

Editor Picks