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Yemen deputy minister says illegal Saudi-imposed blockade major obstacle to peace

Children sit on the ground by a cave where a Yemeni family has sought refuge due to poverty and lack of housing, west of the suburbs of Yemen's third-city of Ta’izz, on December 2, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

A Yemeni deputy minister has strongly lambasted the years-long Saudi inclusive siege imposed on Yemen, saying the crippling and inhumane blockade is a major obstacle to any possible move made to forge peace among the warring parties.

Hossein al-Ezi, deputy foreign minister of the Yemeni Salvation Government, made the remarks on Saturday, saying the Saudi-led coalition is using the tight blockade against tens of millions of Yemenis as a “weapon to extract political and military gains.”

He condemned such an illegal act by the invading enemy and denounced it as a “major obstacle to peace”, Yemen's al-Masirah television network reported.

“Every talk about peace will remain dull. All doubts about our intentions toward negotiations will remain unfair and incomprehensible as long as the siege continues,” the Yemeni deputy minister wrote in a post on his official Twitter account.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies -- including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015. The ongoing war was launched to eliminate Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and restore the Saudi-backed former regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power in Yemen.

The Saudi-led military aggression has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions of people. It has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.

The invading enemy has for years imposed an all-out blockade on the impoverished country.

The siege includes the closure of Sana’a International Airport, which has made it impossible for food and medical supplies to reach the poor in the war-torn country.

The Saudi-led coalition has also been enforcing a tight naval blockade on Yemen, particularly on Hudaydah, which acts as a lifeline for the impoverished nation, since August 2015, five months after it started the war.

“We remind everyone that the siege against 40 million Yemenis is a very unfortunate and horrific measure,” al-Ezi further said.

The Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

The brutal Saudi aggression has spread famine and infectious diseases across the country.

The UN says more than 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger. The world body also refers to the situation in Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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