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First Flight out of Sanaa Airport Set to Take off on Monday

First Flight out of Sanaa Airport Set to Take off on Monday

Monday, 16 May, 2022 - 05:45
People stand at the departures lounge at Sanaa airport in Sanaa, Yemen April 24, 2022. (Reuters)

The first flight out of Yemen's Sanaa International Airport is set to take off on Monday after a number of obstacles have been overcome, announced Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak.

The flight will head to the Jordanian capital Amman.

The operation of flights from the airport, which is held by the Iran-backed Houthi militias, was among a number of points included in the two-month nationwide truce that took hold in early April.

The launch of the first flight was delayed due to passports being issued by the Houthis that are not recognized by the legitimate Yemeni government.

Informed Yemeni sources said consultations with Egyptian authorities have yet to reach an agreement about launching flights from Sanaa to Cairo if the Houthi passports are to be adopted.

Bin Mubarak tweeted that government, United Nations, Jordanian and Saud-led Arab coalition efforts led to the breakthrough and the agreement over the Sanaa-Amman flight.

"Easing the suffering of our people throughout Yemen will remain our top priority," he stressed.

UN envoy Hans Grundberg had visited the interim capital Aden where he met with Presidential Leadership Council Chairman Rashad Al-Alimi and Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik as part of efforts to consolidate the truce and overcome obstacles related to passports issued by the Houthis.

The government had ultimately agreed to the UN proposal to overcome the passport dispute, saying its "stems from its complete commitment to serving the people and easing their suffering caused by the 2014 Houthi coup."

It also stems from its recognition of Grundberg's efforts to overcome Houthi intransigence in fully implementing all articles of the truce.

It clarified that allowing travel through Houthi-issued passports is in not recognition of the documents or the militias.

Moreover, it revealed that it had ordered its embassy in Amman to issue legal passports, at the expense of the government, to all citizens flying in from Sanaa.

It stressed that it was "committed to the truce and opening a real path towards peace."

The government's decision to overcome the hurdle posed by the Houthi travel documents has received mixed reactions from Yemenis.

Some viewed it as an opportunity to replace the illegal documents with legal ones at the Amman embassy, while others saw it as a gain by the Houthis, which are seeking official recognition.

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