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Saudi Coalition Agrees To Reopen Yemeni Ports To Humanitarian Aid


FILE: A Yemeni man looks at a World Food Program ship at the port of Aden, Yemen in July 2015.

The Saudi-led military coalition that has been blockading Yemen's ports of entry said that it will reopen the main airport and a important Red Sea port to humanitarian traffic on November 23.

The airport in the capital of Sanaa will reopen to UN aircraft and the sea port of Hodeida will be able to receive urgent humanitarian aid, the coalition said in a statement.

The coalition imposed the blockade two days after Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen fired a missile at Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh on November 4.

The United Nations officials cautiously welcomed the decision and said they also expect the port of Salef to reopen.

"It is good news," said Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian chief for Yemen.

The UN says a continuation of the two-week blockade would make Yemen's war-battered population more vulnerable to cholera and famine.

Millions in Yemen are at immediate risk if food aid and the supply of fuel for pumping clean water are interrupted, it says.

A disruption of water supplies could reverse recent gains in containing the spread of cholera, the UN says.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters

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