Monday, 18 June, 2018

U.S. warns UAE aid must flow through Yemen port

3 Reported Killed in Missile Attack in Saudi Arabia Civilians Killed in Houthi Shelling of Saudi Arabia’s Jazan – Reports
Sammy Stanley | 12 June, 2018, 09:02

The Security Council on Monday backed a high-stakes mission by a United Nations envoy to avert an attack by the Saudi-led coalition on a key port in Yemen that provides a lifeline for humanitarian aid.

The Security Council met behind closed doors at Britain's request after London told aid agencies on the ground that it had received a warning from the United Arab Emirates of an imminent attack.

The United Nations is engaged in "intense" shuttle diplomacy between the Iran-aligned Houthi group in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in a bid to avert an attack on Yemen's Hodeidah port city, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres said on Monday.

"We are doing everything we can through diplomatic channels to discourage an assault on Hodeidah".

Following the closed-door meeting, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who is council president this month, called for de-escalation and said the top United Nations body would be "closely" following developments.

The United States warned Monday that aid must flow through the Yemeni port of Hodeida amid reports that Emirati forces plan to seize it from Huthi rebels.

Around 70 per cent of Yemen's imports, including the vast majority of its food, comes through Hodeidah and the port is described as the country's "lifeline".

Twitter’s emoji for Trump’s North Korea nuclear summit is very weird
North Korea has nothing like a free press, so it is unclear in exactly what function the North Korean "reporters" were serving. Still, they said, the initial Trump-Kim summit could at least yield an agreement to keep negotiating.

By late today, key lawmakers had begun losing faith in U.S. efforts to convince Saudi and UAE military officials to stop the assault, after The Wall Street Journal reported that the UN's shuttle diplomacy failed to move UAE officials and that the Donald Trump administration had given the operation "a blinking yellow light".

The United States urged all parties of the conflict to ensure humanitarian access to the Yemeni people, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday. Aid agencies have warned that an attack would have catastrophic consequences.

The United Nations pulled all of its global staff out of Al Hodeidah early on Monday morning.

"If an attack does take place, casualties on all sides will be high, with a likely catastrophic impact on the civilian population", they wrote in a letter to the foreign secretary.

The conflict in Yemen has left almost 10,000 people dead in what was already the Arab world's poorest country.

The Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE agreed to worldwide supervision over the port, but this was also met by Houthis' rejection.

An alarming 22.2 million people in Yemen - the Arab world's poorest country - need some kind of humanitarian or protection assistance, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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