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Saudi Arabia to reopen Yemen's air and seaports within next 24 hours

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Saudi Arabia to reopen Yemen's air and seaports within next 24 hours

Saudi Arabia announced Monday that the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen will begin reopening airports and seaports in the Arab world's poorest country, days after closing them over a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh.

On November 4 Saudi Arabia said it intercepted north or Riyadh is said was sacked from Yemen - blaming Iran for the incident, Saudi authorities accused Iran of "declaring war" on their country. The Houthis have denied that. He said the flights would increase gradually over the coming days.

Seven million people are at risk of starvation in Yemen, according to the United Nations, and are relying nearly exclusively on aid to feed themselves.

The strike comes just a day after Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi agreed to reopen some ports to allow aid in.

Yemeni officials in Sanaa, which is held by the rebels, said the airport's runway had also been damaged, claiming fix crews were already at work.

"Simply because it shares a border with Yemen, Saudi Arabia has used the full leverage offered by United States and UK military support to tighten a blockade on Yemen and hinder efforts to send humanitarian aid, causing severe food shortage and lack of medical supplies". "The runway, taxiway, ramp, terminal and air traffic control tower were not hit and are in good condition". "The humanitarian impact of what is happening right now is unimaginable".

The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, faced widespread worldwide criticism over the closure, with the U.N. and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of already suffering people closer to "starvation and death".

Saudi Arabia and the USA have accused Iran of supplying the ballistic missile used in that attack.

He added that Saudi Arabia was looking to work with the United Nations to ensure the ports are safely reopened.

However, Mr McGoldrick said there was "no indication" yet of the blockade being lifted.

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the UN Abdallah al-Mouallimi told reporters in NY on Monday that ports in government-controlled areas such as Aden, Mukalla and Mocha will be reopened, but demanded more rigorous checks at the Red Sea port of Hodeida.

Aden port, which is controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia, does not have the capacity to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo, he added.

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