French President Emmanuel Macron has urged Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to “lift entirely the blockade” against Yemen so that humanitarian aid can be delivered to the food-deprived state.
The comments came in a phone call between the two leaders on December 24, the French presidency said Wednesday.
Mark Lowcock, the UN undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs, said that month unless the coalition ends a blockade of the country, Yemen will face “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims”.
The blockade was partially lifted three weeks later under massive international pressure, namely over the closure of Hudaida port — key to humanitarian and commercial deliveries.
For France, there is “no military solution to the conflict in Yemen” and it is “essential that both sides return to the negotiating table”, Macron told Salman, the presidency added.
Yemen has been since March 26, 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition. Thousands have been martyred and injured in the attack, with the vast majority of them are civilians.
Riyadh launched the attack on Yemen in a bid to restore power to fugitive ex-president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is a close ally to Saudi Arabia.