WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Amid new clashes in Yemen, the United States on Monday called on factions to work with the United Nations to end the more than three-year-old conflict that has pitted Iran-aligned Houthis against other Yemeni forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a statement, said the United States was closely monitoring the situation near Yemen’s main port city of Hodeidah and that he had spoken with leaders of the neighboring United Arab Emirates.
Heavy fighting intensified in the area over the weekend even as the U.N. tries to negotiate a ceasefire, according to military sources. The port handles most of the country’s commercial imports and aid supplies to provide a lifeline for millions of Yemenis.
“We expect all parties to honor their commitments to work with the U.N.,” Pompeo said, adding that they should also “support a political process to resolve this conflict, ensure humanitarian access to the Yemeni people, and map a stable political future for Yemen.”
In his call with Emirati leaders, Pompeo said he “made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports.”
Previous U.N. efforts have failed to end the country’s conflict, which has triggered the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis in the impoverished Arab state, the United Nations has said.