Arabic press review: Saudi firm 'planning to build oil port in Yemen'

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Correspondence between Saudi firm and ambassador reveals construction plans while former Tunisian prime minister lets rip on Facebook

A Saudi company is allegedly working on proposals for an exporting port in southeast Yemen (AFP)
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Monday 20 August 2018 16:07 UTC
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Saudi oil port in Yemen

Saudi Arabia, which is currently leading a multi-country coalition fighting in Yemen, plans to set up an oil exporting port in al-Mahra province, bordering the Arabian Sea, according to a letter cited in an Arabi21 report.

In the letter - allegedly sent by the Jeddah-based Huta Group, a marine construction company, to the Saudi ambassador to Yemen, Mohammed al-Jaber - the firm says it will make arrangements to visit the site at al-Mahra, conduct necessary surveys and gather essential data to prepare a technical and financial offer to implement the port, according to Arabi21.

Al-Mahra province, often described as the eastern gateway to Yemen, was the site last month of unrest, as residents publicly rejected Saudi policies in the country and the kingdom's dominance over vital facilities in the area.

The province has 560km of Arabian Sea coastline and also features the busy seaport of Nishtun.

Former Tunisian prime minister sounds off on Facebook

Former Tunisian prime minister Hamadi Jebali has called for a second revolution to solve the current political crisis in the country, al-Quds al-Arabi reports.

Posting on Facebook, Jebali, a member of the Ennahda movement, accused President Beji Caid Essebsi of conducting a coup d’etat against the constitution and state institutions, and fuelling internal strife within the country.

Essebsi "supports a small group that wants to demolish the morals and customs of the Tunisian society", he posted.

Jebali denounced what he called a fake consensus between Nidaa Tounes, Essebsi's party, and Ennahda. He also said that, in contrast to Ennahda's official stance, he supports the position of Fathi Layouni, mayor of Le Kram municipality, who is against the marriage of Tunisian women to non-Muslims.

"The president’s support for those minorities who represent only themselves and the like, and his attempt to impose their corrupt project on society is a coup against the country’s constitution and the institutions of the state.

"He will fail in his duty to maintain community peace and spread internal strife and division between the members of the same society and family," he wrote.

Last week, Essebsi proposed a bill calling for enshrining inheritance equality between men and women.

Several parties support the proposed bill, which is expected to be introduced in the parliament soon, while it has split others, including Ennahda and the Free Patriotic Union.

Houthis turn UN aid headquarters into barracks

Houthi gunmen seized food from a warehouse in Hodeidah being run by a UN aid organisation and then turned it into army barracks, UN and local sources told Saudi newspaper Asharq al-Awsat.

It was not immediately clear which organisation was in control of the storehouse when the Houthis took over, the paper reported.

An official at the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said it belonged to the World Food Programme (WFP), but a WFP spokesperson denied that. However, a second WFP source said the warehouse belonged to the IOM.

In June, pro-government forces launched an operation to take the key city on the Red Sea coast, held by the Houthis, through which the majority of Yemen's commerce and aid passes.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.