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DECEMBER 2020

US President Asks Saudi Arabia To End Its Blockade Of Yemen

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US President Asks Saudi Arabia To End Its Blockade Of Yemen

Yemenis wait next to empty gas cylinders for gas supplies amid increasing shortages in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, on Nov. 9, 2017. MOHAMMED HUWAIS—AFP/Getty Images

On December 6, US President Donald Trump announced in an official statement that he will ask Saudi Arabia to allow all forms of humanitarian aid to enter Yemen. The country has been under a Saudi blockade for more than two years now.

“I have directed officials in my administration to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it,” Trump said in an official statement, according to Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has been besieging all the Houthis-held areas in Yemen including the Yemeni capital Sana’a since the beginning of its military intervention in Yemen on March 19, 2015. However, the Saudi blockade became more dangerous when Saudi Arabia banned everything including humanitarian aid from entering the Houthis-held area in November. Saudi Arabia took the decision after the Houthis targeted the Saudi capital Riyadh with a ballistic missile on November 5.

Trump’s decision to pressure Saudi Arabia to ease its blockade on Yemen is likely linked to his decisions to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel announced on December 6.

According to analysts, Trump may try to ease the tension with the Iran, to make sure it will not encourage its allies in Palestine like the Hamas Movement to harass the Israelis who will respond. Any armed conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians now will be blamed on Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

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