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Trump Calls on Saudi to End Yemen Blockade

08 December 2017

President Donald Trump, a vocal supporter of the Saudi leadership, joined the chorus on Wednesday with a surprise statement calling for complete aid access "immediately".

Yemen has been described by observers as "worse than Syria" while the United Nations has christened it the most pressing humanitarian crisis in the world.

Trump's official statement urged USA officials "to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it".

"This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately", Mr Trump added.

Yemen's Huthi rebels mounted a show of strength in Sanaa on Thursday, holding a mass memorial ceremony for comrades killed in this month's battle for control of the capital.

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A Saudi-led coalition, which has been battling the rebels since March 2015, imposed a blockade on rebel-held ports early last month after a missile was sacked at Riyadh airport.

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Given the unprecedented suffering in Yemen ― and the failure of countries involved like Saudi Arabia, the US, the United Arab Emirates and Iran to fully supply the close to 21 million people there who are in need ― the hundreds of millions of Saudi dollars spent on the painting could perhaps have been put to better use.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday that at least 234 people had been killed and another 400 wounded since December 1.

But Almadhaji said frustrations of local residents - and the readiness of some to put their hopes in Saleh - go well beyond the Saudi-led blockade and are increasingly focused on the faults of Houthi rule. But the move backfired and Saleh was killed as fighting raged between his forces and the Iran-backed Houthis for control of the capital-a new front in the war.

"It is paramount that civilians are protected, that the wounded are afforded safe access to medical care and that all sides facilitate life-saving humanitarian access", Dujarric said. It said last month it recorded a total of 962,536 suspected cases of the disease throughout Yemen.

"The custodian of the two holy mosques asserted to his excellency the USA president that any American announcement regarding the situation of Jerusalem prior to reaching a permanent settlement will harm peace talks and increase tensions in the area", state news agency SPA said.

America has supported the coalition through weapons sales, air-to-air refueling of jets and some limited intelligence sharing. "Millions will die in a historic starvation and public health crisis if President Trump's call is not heeded". "We should not overlook the fact that United States support has helped create Yemen's horrific crisis".

Trump Calls on Saudi to End Yemen Blockade