United Nations pulls staff from Yemen’s Hodeidah ahead of expected imminent assault

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Saudi Arabia has been targeted for leading an Arab coalition in fighting the Houthi rebels since 2015.

"We will continue to discourage any attack on Hodeidah port and will continue to use our influence to do so", Alistair Burt, a foreign office minister, told the House of Commons.

Mr Griffiths held several rounds of talks last week in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, which is held by the rebels.

Malki also commented on the Houthis' launch of four ballistic missiles towards Saudi Arabia during the past two months, adding that one of these missiles fell in Yemen.

3 Reported Killed in Missile Attack in Saudi Arabia
Three killed in Saudi Arabia following Houthi missile attack

The UN Security Council met behind closed doors Monday to try to avert an attack by the Saudi-led coalition on a key port in Yemen that provides a lifeline for humanitarian aid. "We have dozens of United Nations staff still in Hodeida".

Hodeidah handled 90 percent of the nation's foodstuffs and the humanitarian aid flow before the war, and periodic Saudi blockades of the port since 2015 have heightened fears of starvation and compounded aid agencies' response to a deadly cholera outbreak past year.

Griffiths previously said an attack on Hodeidah would "take peace off the table in a single stroke".

A broader United Nations peace plan calls on the Houthis to give up their missiles in return for an end to a coalition bombing campaign and a transitional governance deal, according to a draft document and sources.

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The three-year stalemated war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million.

"We are, at the present moment, in intense consultation", the UN's secretary general, António Guterres, told reporters.

The UN Security Council is conducting an urgent meeting over the expected assault on Yemen's Hodeidah.

Mr Hadi is visiting the UAE on the advice of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, Yemen's state-run news agency, Saba, reported.

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Meanwhile, the U.S. was following developments in Yemen very closely, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that he had spoken with Emirati leaders and urged them to work with the United Nations to ensure "the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports" through Hodeida. The UN has already dubbed Yemen the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

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