UN chief praises Yemen gov't opening Hodeidah port for fuel
UNITED NATIONS, March 24 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres lauds the Yemeni government for allowing four fuel ships into Hodeidah port as "a step in the right direction," a UN spokesman said on Wednesday.
"Fuel shortages persist across the entire country," said Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Guterres. The need for cooking gas is particularly in demand during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, beginning in April.
"Commercial imports of essential goods, including food, fuel and medical-related items, must be able to enter Yemen in adequate quantities through all ports, and obstacles to domestic distribution removed," Haq said. "Fuel is also essential to transport food, pump drinking water, power the delivery of basic services and run electricity grids."
While praising the government's action, the spokesman was critical of the rebel Houthis.
"We are alarmed by the reported claim by the Houthis ... of a drone attack yesterday (Tuesday) on Abha Airport in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," he told reporters at a regular briefing. "We condemn all attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure."
Haq encouraged those involved in the Yemen conflict to refrain from actions that are detrimental to Special Envoy Martin Griffiths' efforts. The spokesman pled for them to advance the political process to reach a negotiated settlement to end the conflict, now in its seventh year. Enditem