First Published: 2017-08-18

Saudi Arabia installing cranes at Yemen ports
Saudi mission to UN says cranes are being installed at ports of Aden, Mukalla, Al-Mokha to boost aid delivery.
Middle East Online

The ports of Aden, Mukalla and Al-Mokha are all under the control of a Saudi-led military coalition

UNITED NATIONS - Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it was installing four cranes at three ports in Yemen to help boost humanitarian aid deliveries and was ready to assist with installing cranes at the key port of Hodeidah once it was under control of a neutral party.

The Saudi mission to the United Nations said in a statement that the cranes were being installed at the ports of Aden, Mukalla and Al-Mokha - which are all under the control of a Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen.

The coalition has said it was determined to help Yemen's government retake all areas of the country held by Houthi militia, including Hodeidah port, and would ensure alternative entry routes for badly needed food and medicine.

The United Nations has worked to avert attacks on Hodeidah, a vital Red Sea aid delivery point for millions of Yemenis in danger of slipping into famine. Around 80 percent of Yemen's food imports arrive via Hodeidah.

"Saudi Arabia is deeply concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation," it said. "We have always supported every effort to ensure that the people of Yemen receive the aid and relief they require especially in times of crisis." The coalition began an air campaign in March 2015 to help defeat the Iran-allied Houthi rebels.

Five Hodeidah cranes have been destroyed by coalition air strikes, forcing ships to line up offshore because they could not be unloaded. The United Nations has said the coalition prevented it from delivering mobile cranes to the port earlier this year.

The coalition has accused the Houthis of using the port to smuggle weapons and ammunition and has called for UN monitors to be posted there. The Houthi movement denies the allegations.

The United Nations has proposed that Hodeidah be handed to a neutral party to smooth the flow of humanitarian relief and prevent the port being engulfed by Yemen's two-year-old war.

"The coalition ... reaffirms its readiness to facilitate the immediate installation of cranes at the port of Hodeidah, in line with the secretary-General's special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed latest proposals," the Saudi statement said.

The United Nations Security Council urged the warring parties in Yemen in June to reach a UN brokered deal on management of Hodeidah and resumption of government salary payments as the country slides closer to famine.

Top UN officials last month accused the parties fighting in Yemen and their international allies of fueling an unprecedented deadly cholera outbreak, driving millions closer to famine and hindering humanitarian aid access.

 

Turkey, US agree to ‘work together’ in Syria

Fears of expanding Syrian war could trigger peace deal

Six suffer breathing difficulties after Turkish shelling in Afrin

Thousands protest corruption in Tel Aviv amid PM indictment call

Syrians crammed in shared flats in Afrin

Russian mercenaries - a discrete weapon in Syria

Iran protests ban on wrestler who threw bout to avoid Israel

Battle to free Mosul of IS 'intellectual terrorism'

Turkey frees Garman-Turk journalist after one year without charge

Turkey hands life sentences to 3 journalists for Gulen links

Prominent jihadist commander killed by rival Syria rebels

300 Russians killed in Syria battle last week

Tillerson, Erdogan have ‘productive, open’ talk

Iran raises rates, freezes accounts in bid to shore up rial

Kremlin says five Russians killed in US Syria strikes

Oman FM in rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey

Strikes hit another hospital in Syria's Idlib

Churches snub Jerusalem reception over tax dispute with Israeli authorities

Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Kurdish YPG

Captured foreign IS suspects claim innocence

Yemeni mother awaits death penalty for spying for UAE

Fuel shortage shuts down Gaza's only power plant

Morocco arrests three suspected IS terrorists

Family of dead environmentalist in Iran threatened

Israel hands life sentence to Palestinian for triple murder

US appeals to Turkey to concentrate on fighting IS

Turkey sets up new 'observation point' in Syria's Idlib

Malaysia rejects criticism over Israeli visit

Tillerson in Ankara to ease Turkey tensions

Egypt arrests ex-presidential candidate

Tillerson: Hezbollah is part of Lebanon's 'political process'

Netanyahu says government ‘stable’ despite police recommending indictment

Corruption accusations facing Netanyahu

Syria denies ‘unacceptable’ chemical weapons use

Nations pledge nearly $25 billion toward Iraq's reconstruction

Egypt remands in custody former anti-corruption chief

Turkish PM 'hopes' German journalist is freed soon

US agrees to send $1 billion in annual aid to Jordan

Iran arrests money changers amid rial collapse

Saudi Arabia seeks to further reduce oil stockpiles

Turkey imposes curfews in Kurdish-majority province

Tillerson urges allies to focus on fighting IS

France threatens Syria strikes if chemical attacks proven

Tillerson says enduring IS defeat not yet achieved