UAE says Yemen's Houthis must evacuate key port city

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs for the United Arab Emirates, Anwar Gargash, speaks at an event at Chatham House in London, Britain July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall

DUBAI (Reuters) - A senior United Arab Emirates official said on Tuesday that the Iran-aligned Houthi movement must evacuate Yemen's main port of Hodeidah as troops backed by a Saudi-led coalition geared for an assault on the city.

"The international community must pressure the Houthis to evacuate Hodeidah & leave the port intact," UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash said on Twitter.

"The current & illegal Houthi occupation of Hodeidah is prolonging the Yemeni war. The liberation of the city & port will create a new reality & bring the Houthis to the negotiations," he added.

(Reporting by Ghaida Ghantous; Editing by Gareth Jones)