Saudi King Salman Receives Lebanese Patriarch Rahi

Saudi Arabia's King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Credit Reuters

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Credit Reuters

Lebanon's head of the Maronite Catholic Church, Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi, made his historic first trip to Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Tuesday.

The Saudi-led coalition was not immediately available for comment.

"There is no embargo", Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said. "There are many sources of supply to Yemen, even during the past week or so". For ports in rebel-held or disputed territories, such as the city of Hodeida, the mission said it has asked the send a team of experts to discuss ways to make sure weapons can't be smuggled in.

Al-Mouallimi said the Saudi-led coalition wants tougher inspections at the port of Hodeida, which is controlled by Houthi Shiite rebels, because current United Nations -monitored inspections only check large ships, and "in the case of small and medium-size ships there is hardly any inspection that takes place in the port or anywhere else". The humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged Yemen is now one of the deadliest in the world as starvation and lack of medical supplies leave millions at risk - the Saudi blockade of Yemen has added to the country's woes.

An air raid by the Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement in Yemen shut down the airport in the capital Sanaa on Tuesday, further isolating the country where millions are on the brink of starvation, the state news agency SABA reported. The Saudi closure had drawn global condemnation and fears of a worsening humanitarian disaster in Yemen.

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T1 handled 24 million passengers in 2016-17 whereas its rated capacity is 20 million passengers per annum. The incident, which took place on Sunday, has been reported to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

McGoldrick was speaking to reporters in Geneva by phone from Amman, because he said flights into Sanaa were blocked.

On Tuesday, Yemen's airline said a commercial plane landed at Aden global airport after acquiring permits from the Saudi-led coalition.

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

The Houthis control most of the north, including Sanaa and its worldwide airport, while the Saudi-led coalition dominates the airspace. Iran has long denied supplying rockets to the Houthis.

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