Maronite Patriarch Arrives in Saudi Arabia

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The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, faced widespread worldwide criticism over the closure, with the U.N. and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of people closer to "starvation and death".

The Saudi-led coalition said Monday it would reopen Yemen's ports closed after a ballistic missile attack by Yemen on Riyadh - but not ports in Houthi-control territory.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Lebanese Patriarch Bechara Boutros al Rahi, Tuesday, reported Saudi Press Agency. The Houthis are said to be allied with Iran, though how much is in dispute.

The UN aid agencies said the coalition's move to ease the siege was not enough, and warned of mass starvation and health catastrophes in Yemen's north.

Dujarric said the United Nations refugee agency expressed alarm at the worsening humanitarian situation, noting that at a center for displaced Yemenis in Sanaa "hundreds more people are approaching the facility daily, saying they are no longer able to meet basic needs or afford medical care".

Jamie McGoldrick said the north of the country had 20 days' stocks of diesel, which were crucial for pumping water and fighting a huge cholera outbreak, and 10 days' stocks of gasoline, with no prospect of resupply soon.

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After two years of a devastating war, the Houthis still control much of Yemen's north while the south falls under the embattled President of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, whose government is recognized by the global community and who is supported by the Saudi-led coalition.

Saleh al-Sammad, the head of the Presidency Council of Yemen's rebels, also known as Houthis, told a rally of thousands of supporters marching down a main boulevard in the capital, Sanaa, that the coalition has "shut down all doors for peace and dialogue".

The mission's announcement came in a statement early on Monday.

It says those ports are in Aden, Mocha and Mukalla.

The Saudi U.N. ambassador denied that there has been an embargo, saying "a temporary procedure" was taken for a few days to ensure the safety and security of Yemenis and Saudis, and that supplies were available. The Houthis have denied that.

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