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After Tillerson Call, Saudis Open Yemen Port and Airport to UN Humanitarian Aid

Nov. 23, 2017 (EIRNS)—Amid signs of a Saudi climbdown over Syria, there is also some opening up on Yemen, reportedly following a phone call to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson earlier this week. Al Arabiya, citing the Saudi Press Agency, reported yesterday that the Saudi-led coalition has decided to reopen both the seaport of Hodeidah and the airport in Sana’a to shipments of humanitarian supplies after completing

"a comprehensive review of the inspection and verification procedures used to implement the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216."


"the Coalition will soon announce a comprehensive humanitarian operations plan that aims to provide assistance and relief to the Yemeni people, and to facilitate the delivery of food to all the governorates of Yemen."

Reuters reports that Tillerson had personally pressured Mohammed bin Salman into allowing the reopening of the two entry points. Tillerson asked for a loosening of the blockade on Yemen during a roughly 45-minute phone call at the beginning of this week with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to Tillerson’s advisor R.C. Hammond, reported Reuters. The Secretary of State "has brought the request to [the] Saudis’ attention several times over the past months," Hammond said. Reuters adds that the Trump Administration also pressed the Saudis to allow Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to return to Beirut after he flew to Riyadh on Nov. 4 and abruptly announced his resignation over Saudi television.