Saudi easing of Yemen blockade not enough — EU and UN

Israeli Apache helicopters take part in training exercises and Hezbollah fighters storm a hill alongside Syrian soldiers in a Syrian government

Israeli Apache helicopters take part in training exercises and Hezbollah fighters storm a hill alongside Syrian soldiers in a Syrian government

"We appeal first of all to the political forces to focus on Lebanon and what they can deliver to their citizens, Prime Minister Hariri to return to his country and the unity focus on domestic achievements", the bloc's top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, told reporters.

"I am not against Hezbollah as a party, I have a problem with Hezbollah destroying the country", Hariri said during the interview.

"My resignation came as a wake-up call for Lebanon", he said.

What exactly happened was explained by Paula Yacoubian of Hariri's Future TV who was sent to interview him at his house in the Saudi capital.

In an interview with a television station that he owns, the Saudi-allied Hariri, Lebanon's most influential Sunni Muslim politician, gave his first public comments since he read out his resignation on television from Riyadh eight days ago.

He accused Iran and the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah of meddling in Arab countries' affairs, an allegation the two have repeatedly denied.

Many authorities in Lebanon have insisted on the return of Hariri from Saudi Arabia.

The patriarch, who heads Lebanese Maronite Christians, is scheduled to hold talks with King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Hariri. A Saudi-led coalition has been at war with the Houthis rebels since 2015 in a bloody conflict that has resulted in a major humanitarian disaster. When asked about reports that he is not communicative and doesn't use his phone much, he said: "I am in a reflective state", adding that he didn't want any distractions amid a very busy schedule.

"We are preoccupied by the situation in Lebanon. we are worried about its stability, we are worried about its integrity, we are worried about non-interference", Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

"The EU urges the coalition to ensure the immediate resumption of the UN's flights and activities in the ports of Hodeida and Saleef and the opening of land borders for humanitarian relief and basic commercial commodities".

"The obscurity regarding Hariri's conditions makes anything that he says or does not reflect truth", said Aoun, cited by

"The Lebanese people have been waiting for him (Hariri) to return because the situation has come to a stop and the Lebanese people have been unsettled", el-Rai said.

The UN has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million people in need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of famine.

Geekie said no aid had gone into Aden yet and the reopening of the Wadea crossing did not affect UN operations. Several sources believe that Saudi Arabia is holding Hariri against his will, a claim the kingdom has rejected.

"There can be no alternative for all these ports being fully functional and receiving commercial and humanitarian cargo", Geekie said.

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