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UAE orders urgent food aid delivered to Yemenis.
(News: 06-13-2015 )

Dubai: His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has ordered that urgent food and medical assistance be delivered to Yemenis.

His decision follows directives by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, WAM agency reported. Yemenis are experiencing acute shortage of food and medicines due to the ongoing ‘regrettable’ events in Yemen, it said.

The Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation, which is supervising the Yemen relief operation, yesterday operated the first flight of the relief airbridge to Yemen, which will be followed by aid convoys by air and sea before the onset of Ramadan, Wam reported.

On Thursday, a coalition of 13 aid organisations has called for a permanent ceasefire in Yemen ahead of UN-sponsored talks tomorrow on ending a conflict that has affected 80 per cent of the population.

The relief groups also called for the lifting of an air and sea blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition that launched a a bombing campaign in late March in support of exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

“What Yemen urgently needs is a permanent ceasefire, an end to the Saudi-led commercial blockade,” the groups said in a statement.

They also called for “an end to arms transfers to those responsible for breaches of international humanitarian law, and a sizeable increase in humanitarian and longer term development funding.”

A five-day ceasefire last month allowed aid agencies to reach civilians caught in the fighting but UN efforts to extend the truce failed.

Yemen’s warring factions will meet for UN-sponsored talks in Geneva from Sunday in their first bid to break the deadlock after more than two months of Saudi-led air strikes.

Fourteen Yemeni representatives — seven from each side of the conflict pitting Iran-backed rebels against the internationally recognised government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and its allies — will take part in the talks in the Swiss city, expected to last two to three days.

Analysts say that by agreeing to the talks, both sides have shown they are now looking for a way out.

The international community has backed Hadi as Yemen’s legitimate ruler and a UN resolution has demanded the rebels withdraw from the territory they have seized.

Hadi’s government, which will be represented in Geneva by Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin, insists the talks are merely “consultative” and aimed at implementing the UN resolution.

Al Houthi officials and members of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s party will represent rebel forces at the talks.