Trump Calls on Saudi Arabia to End Blockade of Yemen

Trump Calls on Saudi Arabia to End Blockade of Yemen

President Trump on Wednesday said he's directed his administration to push Saudi Arabia to completely lift its blockade on war-torn Yemen.

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

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.

The blockade in Yemen that has accompanied the Saudi-led coalition's intervention in Yemen's war has restricted access to food and medical supplies.

The statement came as residents in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, were stocking up on goods and seeking urgent care, fearing an impending resumption of hostilities after a showdown between Huthi rebels after they killed powerbroker and ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The Trump administration, like the Obama administration before it, has struggled to convince Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to pay more heed to the humanitarian crisis.

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"People are upset because this was an important opportunity and it's been lost", Almadhaji said. Officials at Saudi-backed Saleh's party vowed to revenge their leader's death and to continue fighting against Iranian-aligned Houthis.

Saleh was killed at the hands of Houthi rebels on Monday and clashes over the past week have seen streets blockaded by warring factions and the setting up of checkpoints.

The President's statement appeared to be a veiled criticism of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has led the kingdom's campaign in Yemen and has been publicly praised by Mr Trump for his efforts to clamp down on terrorism and corruption.

The U.N. last month warned that Yemen faces a mass starvation that will affect millions of lives unless the Saudi-led coalition ends its blockade and allows aid deliveries into the country.

"The custodian of the two holy mosques asserted to his excellency the U.S. 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. Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition warplanes have since launched over 30 airstrikes on positions of Houthis inside and outside Sanaa, with no reports of casualties. "We should not overlook the fact that USA support has helped create Yemen's horrific crisis".

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