Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (L) greets U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the U.N. headquarters in New York, U.S., June 22, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
NEW YORK - 13 November 2017: The Saudi mission to the United Nations said that the Arab coalition will reopen all ports in areas that are under the control of Yemen's internationally recognized government within 24 hours, Sky News reported Monday.
In a statement, the mission said the first step in this process will be taken within 24 hours and involves reopening all the ports in areas controlled by Yemen's internationally recognized government, which the Arab coalition backs.
The ports are in Aden, Mocha and Mukalla, the statement added.
The Saudi-led coalition hopes that this step will prevent the smuggling of weapons, ammunition, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran and Iranian accomplices to the Houthi rebels, the statement said.
Earlier, Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, warned of an appalling famine in Yemen unless the current air, sea and land blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition is lifted.
"It will not be like the famine that we saw in South Sudan earlier this year when tens of thousands of people were affected. It will not be like the famine that caused 250,000 lives in Somalia in 2011. It will be the largest famine the world has not seen for many decades, with millions of victims," he said.
Lowcock said this is important because humanitarian access to the ports was inadequate even before the measures announced on November 6 by the Arab coalition.
"What we need to see is a reduction of blockages on all sides, not an increase on them," he said.