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Yemeni Govt Says Houthis Refuse to Open Sanaa Airport Despite Guarantees

Yemeni Govt Says Houthis Refuse to Open Sanaa Airport Despite Guarantees

Saturday, 12 June, 2021 - 07:15
Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak with the Commissioner for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aids in the European Commission Janiz Lenarcic (Saba News)

The Yemeni government affirmed its commitment to the Saudi initiative for a comprehensive ceasefire under UN supervision, hinting that the Omani efforts aimed at persuading the Houthi militias with this initiative are failing.

Recent news reported that Houthis are intransigent towards the Omani mediation, a week after the delegation arrived in Sanaa.

The group aims to achieve political, economic, and military gains through humanitarian issues, without agreeing to the nationwide ceasefire.

The Yemeni government considered the militias’ ongoing targeting of civilians in Marib with ballistic missiles and booby-trapped drones, “a great disregard for the efforts to stop the war and bring peace to Yemen."

The government reiterated its support for opening the airport to serve the citizens while asserting that it should not be used as a military platform to kill Yemeni people.

The statement noted that the government did not close Hodeidah port, but rather suspended the mechanism after the Houthis looted all revenues, calling at the same time for securing these revenues and ensuring they reach civil servants.

The government lauded the Omani efforts as well as that of the UN and US envoys, affirming its commitment to the Saudi initiative.

It demanded an immediate cessation of missile and drone attacks against civilians, noting that "respecting the right to life for all is the basis and essence of humanitarian work."

The statement, carried by official outlets, added that opening roads, ensuring freedom of movement for citizens, and lifting the siege on cities, especially Taiz, is “at the heart of humanitarian issues, and one of the basics that the government puts at the top of its priorities.”

Over the past few weeks, a number of international efforts tried to resolve the Yemeni crisis.

An Omani delegation arrived in Sanaa to convince Houthi leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi of the UN plan, and later UN Envoy Martin Griffiths visited Tehran for the same purpose.

Meanwhile, Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak discussed with the Commissioner for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aids in the European Commission Janiz Lenarcic, the grave violations committed by the Houthi militias.

Bin Awad stressed the government's keenness to alleviate the suffering and end the humanitarian crisis.

The foreign minister denied Houthis’ allegations of a blockade, noting that the agreement concluded by the government under UN auspices stipulates customs revenues for fuel shipments should be allocated for the salaries of public sector employees.

“Houthi militias are trying to mislead the international community by creating a crisis of oil derivatives in the areas under their control and claiming that there is a blockade on the entry of fuel and oil derivatives,” bin Mubarak was quoted by Saba News.

He asserted that these allegations were refuted by several international reports, which confirm that fuel distribution in areas under militias’ control never stopped and that they cover civilian needs.

The real humanitarian crisis results from Houthis’ continuous aggression against Marib, which includes nearly four million Yemenis, half of whom are displaced fleeing the tyranny of these militias, according to the minister.

On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the government was hoping to exert pressure on the Houthi rebels to end their offensive launched in February to seize Marib.

"It is time for the Houthis to accept a ceasefire and for all parties to resume political talks," Blinken said in a statement, adding that Washington “will continue to apply pressure to the Houthis, including through targeted sanctions, to advance those goals.”

Yemeni observers estimate that forcing the Houthis to accept any peace plan must come from Tehran, while they believe that the Omani role will not have an impact on the success of the UN plan unless the group obtains political gains.

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