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

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

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

A top leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels who are at war with a Saudi-led military coalition is vowing retaliation against the oil-rich kingdom over its disastrous blockade of the war-torn country.

The Saudi-led coalition said Monday it would reopen Yemen's ports closed after a ballistic missile attack by Yemen on Riyadh - but not ports in Houthi-control territory.

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.

On November 4 Saudi Arabia said it intercepted north or Riyadh is said was sacked from Yemen - blaming Iran for the incident, Saudi authorities accused Iran of "declaring war" on their country.

The Saudi-led coalition hopes that will prevent "the smuggling of weapons, ammunitions, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran and Iranian accomplices to the Houthi rebels", the statement said.

"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", Mr. McGoldrick told reporters.

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.

Two key ports for humanitarian shipments to Yemen have remained closed since November 6, bringing starvation closer to Yemenis, said the United Nations on Tuesday.

McGoldrick underscored that United Nations aid was the main lifeline for most of Yemen's population, seven million of whom are at risk of starvation.

"I don't think discussions (on new inspections) should hamper the port remaining open", he added. On Monday, the coalition said it would reopen ports in areas held by allied forces and loosen restrictions it had raised after the firing of the missile, which was intercepted near Riyadh's global airport. But, said McGoldrick, the blockade puts that progress in jeopardy. Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the Yemen war in March 2015 with the stated aim of rolling back the rebels' territorial gains and restoring the government to power.