Monday 16 July 2018

UN Security Council rejects call for end to Yemen battle

(Photo: PA)
(Photo: PA)

Josie Ensor Beirut

The UN Security Council has rejected a plan to call for an end to fighting in Hodeidah, Yemen as Saudi-led forces look poised to take the city's airport.

The UK and the US, which support the Arab coalition against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, voiced opposition to the motion brought by Sweden, one of the council's 15 members.

The council instead "urged all sides to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law" and called for the port, a vital aid route for 70pc of Yemen's food, to be kept open.

Forces of the Western-backed coalition have advanced to within feet of the international airport.

Karen Pierce, the UK ambassador to the UN, said: "We make our own decisions in the security council and we make them on the basis of the British national interest including wider issues of security. The most important aspect is to secure a political settlement."

The decision left open the possibility of a direct attack on Hodeidah, although officials are still hoping for a last-minute deal.

Irish Independent

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