UN demands aid access to Yemen’s ports, Security Council condemns Houthi missile strikes on KSA

Netherlands Ambassador to the United Nations Karel J.G. van Oosterom addresses the UN Security Council as it meets on Syria at UN headquarters in New York, US, March 12, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 16 March 2018
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UN demands aid access to Yemen’s ports, Security Council condemns Houthi missile strikes on KSA

NEW YORK: The UN Security Council has called for greater access for aid deliveries to Yemen’s ports, warning of ongoing suffering resulting from the three-year-old war.
Karel van Oosterom, the UN ambassador for the Netherlands, which holds the council’s rotating presidency this month, expressed his frustration at the conflict. He added that he hoped a 1,500-word statement that was issued by the Security Council on Thursday would “translate into real action on the ground.”
“The key issue for us is full and sustained humanitarian access, and that’s both through the airports and the ports,” van Oosterom told reporters. “We certainly also need to find a sustained political solution so the basis of the current conflict would be solved.”
The UN statement, agreed by the 15-nation body with input from Saudi Arabia and others, calls for the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef to open fully for all “commercial and humanitarian imports, including food, fuel and medical imports.”
It also calls for “increased access to Sanaa Airport for lifesaving humanitarian supplies,” warning that “denial of humanitarian access can constitute a violation of international humanitarian law.”
Saudi Arabia, and other members of the Arab coalition fighting Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militants, restricted shipments into Yemen after it emerged that the Houthis were receiving weapons supplies from Tehran.
The council urged the forces inspecting vessels in accordance with a UN arms embargo to do so in an “efficient and timely manner” so there would be no hold-ups in the delivery of commercial or humanitarian goods.
The UN statement condemned Houthi ballistic missile strikes on Saudi Arabia and praised the Kingdom’s humanitarian efforts in Yemen, as well as promises of $1.5 billion for the UN from Riyadh.


Saudi defense partnerships signed at Paris Air Show

Updated 20 June 2019
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Saudi defense partnerships signed at Paris Air Show

PARIS: Saudi defense chiefs signed a number of strategic partnerships with major global companies while taking part in the prestigious Paris Air Show.
The pavilion of the Saudi Arabian Military Industries (SAMI) company received a succession of key aerospace-industry figures during the Kingdom’s first exhibition appearance at the world’s largest aviation event.
High-profile visitors welcomed by SAMI chief executive offer, Andreas Schwer, included chairman of the SAMI board of directors, Ahmad Al-Khatib, deputy chairman of the SAMI board of directors and chairman of the board of directors of the Local Content and Government Procurement Commission, Dr. Ghassan Al-Shibl, and president of the General Authority for Civil Aviation, Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri.
The pavilion also received a senior delegation from the Saudi Presidency of State Security, along with the director general of Saudi Arabian Airlines, Saleh bin Nasser Al-Jasser.
During the second day of the air show, which runs until June 23 at Le Bourget airport in Paris, SAMI officials took part in meetings and signed strategic partnerships with global businesses involved in the four areas of the company’s work, namely air and ground systems, weapons, missiles and defense electronics.
At a signing ceremony in the SAMI pavilion, company chiefs also put pen to paper on a joint project agreement with US aerospace and defense company L3 Technologies for cooperation in the field of electro-optical and infra-red technology and special task systems inside Saudi Arabia. In February, the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding establishing the joint project.