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In a recent letter, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called on President Biden to exert diplomatic pressure on Saudi Arabia to end their blockade of the Sana International Airport. Congresswoman Nancy Mace and Senators Elizabeth Warren and Rand Paul co-signed the letter. Yemen’s major airport has been out of use since August 2016, due to an ongoing civil war, in which the Saudi-led coalition has instituted a blockade Yemen’s airspace—making it off limits for both commercial and humanitarian purposes. This blockade is especially devastating because nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s citizens are in need of humanitarian assistance and 16.2 million people are at risk of famine, including 400,000 children under the age of 5.

The letter reads in part, “The United States must make clear that this cruel and senseless blockade is causing devastating harm to millions of innocent Yemenis and is harmful to diplomacy and the peace process. The Biden Administration should leverage all possible influence to pressure the Saudi-led coalition to end and decouple its blockade of the Sana’a International Airport from negotiations and allow for the unrestricted flow of humanitarian aid through the airport.”

New York’s 14th Congressional District is home to a large community of Yemeni families, and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is proud to stand with them in the fight for their loved ones.