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Yemeni PM: Arms Trafficking via Hodeidah Port Continues | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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A ship is docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

Riyadh- Yemen’s Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr said on Sunday armed trafficking going en route the Hodeidah port continues and threatens the security of both Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Daghr urged that local, Arab and international forces monitor the port.

The significant port rests off one of Yemen’s largest cities with a pre-war population count of 400,000. Situated on the Red Sea, it is an important port, exporting coffee, cotton, dates and hides.

Yemen’s war has pitted pro-government forces against Iran-aligned Houthi insurgents and their allies, renegade troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. A Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to help the government retake the capital Sanaa.

Speaking on the sidelines of his visit to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Center for Humanitarian Aid and Relief, which is playing a major role in supporting Yemenis facing famine, Daghr said that arms smuggling has been a leading cause for great damage.

Proved by Hodeidah’s continued suffering and deficiency in resources, the port has not been used to deliver humanitarian relief.

The Yemeni government had offered the United Nations to single-handedly run the port of Hodeidah, but the world body remains undecided, said Daghr.

He accused the UN of ignoring the fact that armed putschists now have full control over Hodeidah port, later calling on the international community to help the internationally recognized government to help its people.

He pointed out that Saudi humanitarian aid provided to Yemen amounted to about 600 million dollars in the past two years, stressing that without the help of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, the recently held fundraising event in Geneva would not have backed humanitarian aid project in Yemen, pointing out that at least 45 percent of humanitarian aid to Yemen Came from Gulf States.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had announced a new donation made to the relief efforts in Yemen worth $150 million, in addition to a previously allotted $100 million dispensed to a Riyadh-based relief center in early 2017.

Daghr pointed out that the Yemeni government desires a just and lasting peace, achieved despite the expansionist aspirations of coup forces.

He said that insurgents turning in their weapons is key to establishing peace in Yemen, in addition to withdrawing from cities.

The prime minister stressed that regional seeking to sway Yemen into its proxy game will not succeed. More so, he said that the people of Yemen will not compromise the security of Gulf and Arab states.

For his part, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah, Advisor at the Royal Court and General Supervisor of King Salman Center for Humanitarian Relief and Aid, said that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has paid great attention to the humanitarian situation in Yemen through the Center, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

He pointed out that the Center’s programs reach all governorates of Yemen, even in areas controlled by the Iran-allied Houthi militias such as Saada, Hajja, Amran and Sana’a.