Devastated Yemen begs Europe for help

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Yemen has written to the European Union, calling on the 28-nation bloc to pressure Saudi Arabia into ending its deadly military intervention and inhumane blockade of the impoverished nation.

Hisham Sharaf, the Foreign Minister of Yemen’s National Salvation Government, made the call on Saturday in letters sent to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Maltese Foreign Minister George Vella, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The letters urged the bloc to condemn rights violations committed in Yemen by the Riyadh regime and its allies.

They also called for the formation of an independent committee to investigate Saudi crimes in Yemen, the reopening of Sana’a International Airport, and making former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi pay the salaries of public sector employees.

Sharaf said the United Nations Security Council should issue resolutions that support a peaceful political process in Yemen and oblige Riyadh to end its war and lift blockade on the impoverished state.

He further underlined the need for sending humanitarian aid to Yemen through the port city of Hudaydah that is controlled by the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

More than 70 percent of all food, medicine, oil products and humanitarian aid are sent into northern Yemen via Hudaydah, he added.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have threatened to attack the port city and retake it from the Houthis. The UN has said that it was “extremely concerned” about the fallout from a potential attack of the port.

Elsewhere in his letters, Sharaf stressed that Yemen reserved the right to defend itself, calling for efforts to remove obstacles on the way of intra-Yemeni and Yemeni-Saudi talks.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a brutal military campaign against Yemen since March 2015. The kingdom has also imposed an aerial and naval blockade on its southern neighbor.

Turning a blind eye to the plight of Yemeni civilians, Britain and the US have provided huge amounts of arms and military training to the Saudi forces.

The war by Saudi Arabia, which seeks to reinstate former president Hadi, has killed over 12,000 Yemenis, according to recent tallies.