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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Britain’s May welcomes Saudi reopening of Yemen’s Hodeidah port in face of Houthi aggression

The UK prime minister said she was “appalled” by the recent missile attack designed to hit the Royal Palace

Theresa May has welcomed the reopening of the port of Hodeidah on Yemen's west coast. Abduljabbar Zeyad/ Reuters
Theresa May has welcomed the reopening of the port of Hodeidah on Yemen's west coast. Abduljabbar Zeyad/ Reuters

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May has welcomed the Saudi-led coalition’s decision to reopen of the port of Hodeidah in Yemen in the face of “continued provocation and aggression” from rebel Houthi forces.

Saudi Arabia announced on its state news agency on Wednesday that it would allow food aid and commercial fuel to go through the port, which lies on the west coast of the Arab nation.

The decision was made just days after Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile at Riyadh, designed apparently to hit the Royal Palace. The missile was intercepted and destroyed by Saudi Arabia.

“This critical and commendable step has been made in the face of continued provocation and aggression from Houthi forces, and will help ensure the Yemeni people get the supplies and assistance they so desperately need,” Mrs May said in a statement.

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Monday’s missile attack was the third in two months in an escalation of a conflict, which has been raging for over two years.

Last week, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations presented evidence which she said proved that Iran had been providing the Houthis with missiles.

Mrs May appealed to anyone with influence over the Iran-backed Houthis to get them to cease their provocation which destabilised the region.

“I was appalled that the Houthis fired another ballistic missile at Riyadh on 19 December, and that they boasted the target was the Royal Palace. This is the second such incident in six weeks, which yet again deliberately targeted a populated area,” the UK prime minister said.

“Such attacks threaten regional security and prolong the conflict in Yemen and I call upon all those with influence over the Houthis to get them to stop.

Mrs May also spoke with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday evening in which she reaffirmed her support for Saudi Arabia.

The Crown Prince is set to visit the UK in 2018.