UN / SAUDI ARABIA YEMEN

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ARABIC , ENGLISH 13-Nov-2017 00:02:55
Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told reporters today that the coalition his country leads in Yemen will be taking steps to reopen air and sea ports under the control of the Yemeni government “within the next 24 hours.” UNIFEED
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STORY: UN / SAUDI ARABIA YEMEN
TRT: 02:55
SOURCE: UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 13 NOVEMBER 2017, NEW YORK CITY

SHOTLIST:

FILE - NEW YORK CITY

1. Wide shot, UNHQ exterior

13 NOVEMBER 2017, NEW YORK CITY

2. Wide shot, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations:
“We would like to confirm that steps are being taken by the coalition, in full consultation and agreement with the Government of Yemen to start the process of reopening airports and seaports in Yemen to allow for the safe transfer of humanitarian actors and humanitarian and commercial shipments. The first step in this process will be taken within the next 24 hours and will include and involve the reopening of all ports and airports in areas controlled by the Government of Yemen.”
4. Wide shot, journalists
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations:
“We believe that there should be a more robust verification mechanism in Houdeidah port and we want to work with the United Nations. Now the United Nations is concerned about cost, about liability, about issues of that sort, but we are concerned about the safety of our own people because what changed, if anything, is that there has been a missile attack against the city of Riyadh.”
6. Med shot, journalist asking question
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations:
“We will be developing comprehensive proposals for the operation of Houdeidah seaport and Sanaa airport, and we will be sharing these proposals with the Special Envoy Mr Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed and hopefully he will be able to communicate them and try to get the agreement of all parties on these proposals.”
8. Med shot, journalist asking question
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations:
“If the seaport of Houdeidah is to be reopened then it would have to be under safe conditions that ensure that there will be no supply of weapons and ammunitions coming through that port.”
10. Wide shot, press room
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations:
“The aid is being diverted by the Houthis in the areas controlled by the Houthis. It is being diverted, number one, to fulfil their own requirements, and number two, to trade in the black market and achieve exorbitant profits at the expense of the Yemeni people and so on. They are the ones who are hindering the smooth arrival of aid shipments to those who deserve it.”
12. Med shot, reporter
13. SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations:
(soundbite starts under cutaway) “These accusations of house arrest are laughable. I believe the question should be directed to Prime Minister Saad Hariri. The question was directed to him and he answered it. [He said] he is in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in his home, among his kin and siblings. It is not unusual for Prime Minister Saad Hariri to be in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He is welcome whenever he would like to come, and we wish him safe travels whenever he would like to return to Lebanon or go anywhere else.”
14. Wide shot, press room

STORYLINE:

Saudi ambassador to the UN Abdallah Al-Mouallimi told reporters today (13 Nov) that the coalition his country leads in Yemen will be taking steps to reopen air and sea ports under the control of the Yemeni government “within the next 24 hours.”

Al-Mouallimi said the ports will be reopened “to allow for the safe transfer of humanitarian actors and humanitarian and commercial shipments” and will include the seaports of Aden, Al Mukalla, and Mocha, as well as the airports in Aden, Sayun, and Socotra. He said the Coalition is in the process of developing a comprehensive plan for humanitarian relief in the country.

The Saudi ambassador called on the UN Secretary-General to send a team of experts to the Coalition command centre in Riyadh to review the inspection and verification mechanism currently being implemented by the United Nations, also known as UNVIM. The aim of this review would be to enhance and deliver a more robust verification and inspection mechanism to facilitate humanitarian assistance while preventing smuggling weapons, ammunition, and cash regularly being supplied by Iran and its allies, according to Al-Mouallimi. He said the existing procedures do not cover small and medium size ships which provides ample opportunities for the smuggling of weapons and ammunitions.

The ambassador said, “If the seaport of Houdeidah is to be reopened then it would have to be under safe conditions that ensure that there will be no supply of weapons and ammunitions coming through that port.” He said the Coalition will be developing proposals for the operations of Houdeidah seaport and Sanaa airport and will share these proposals with the UN Special Envoy for Yemen and hoped that he will “be able to communicate them and try to get the agreement of all parties on these proposals.”

Al-Mouallimi said there should be a more robust verification mechanism in Houdeidah port addina that the Coalition wants to work with the United Nations. He said, “Now the United Nations is concerned about cost, about liability, about issues of that sort, but we are concerned about the safety of our own people because what changed, if anything, is that there has been a missile attack against the city of Riyadh.”

Al-Mouallimi blamed the Houthi rebels for the humanitarian crisis Yemen is facing. He said aid is being diverted by the Houthis in the areas under their control “to trade in the black market and achieve exorbitant profits at the expense of the Yemeni people.”

Separately, the Saudi ambassador described accusations that his country has placed Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri under house arrest are “laughable.” In response to a question, Al-Mouallimi stressed that is was “not unusual” for Prime Minister Hariri to be in Saudi Arabia. He added that the Prime Minister is welcome whenever he would like to come, and we wish him safe travels whenever he would like to return to Lebanon or go anywhere else.”
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