Saudis say coalition in Yemen shouldn't be on UN blacklist

UNITED NATIONS –  Saudi Arabia's U.N. envoy says "there is no justification whatsoever" for the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen to be on a U.N. blacklist for allegedly killing and maiming nearly 700 children in 2016.

Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi on Friday rejected "the inaccurate and misleading information and figures" in the U.N.'s annual report on children and armed conflict, which names the coalition. But he also said the government is committed to reducing casualties "to the lowest possible level."

Last year, the coalition was put on the blacklist but removed by then-Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon under intense pressure from Saudi Arabia.

While the coalition objects to being on the list, Al-Mouallimi said Saudi Arabia's relations with the U.N. "are very strong."