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AL-MUKALLA: UN-mediated peace efforts to end war in Yemen have made no progress, with the Houthis and the government arguing over key issues such as flights from Sanaa airport, the cessation of military operations and airstrikes and port revenues naval Hodeidah, an old government said Arab News official.

During talks with UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths and Omani mediators, Houthis called for the regulation of uncontrolled direct flights to Iran, Syria and Lebanon, a halt to Arab coalition airstrikes and the easing of traffic restrictions to and from the seaport. preconditions for agreeing a ceasefire, said Yemeni government official.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to inform journalists.

The government has rejected Houthis’ demands.

It insists on regulating flights inspected by Sanaa to limited regional and international destinations such as Egypt, India, Sudan, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. He also wants the Houthis to halt their military operations before air strikes cease and the seaport revenues to be deposited at the central bank in Hodeidah and used to pay public servants.

If the Houthis agree to those demands, the government would engage in direct talks with them to end the war, the official said.

The Houthis are demanding a ceasefire: First a halt to airstrikes and then a halt to military operations on the ground, the official told Arab News.

The government is concerned that the Houthis could transport fighters and weapons from Iran on direct flights.

The Houthis could also exploit the lack of Arab coalition fighter jets to advance on the ground because airstrikes have thwarted their attempt to make a profit, according to military officers.

The Griffiths and U.S. envoy to Yemen Tim Lenderking have shifted between Riyadh and Muscat to persuade Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and Houthis to accept their ideas to end the war.

These ideas are an immediate ceasefire, followed by other measures to alleviate the country’s humanitarian crises such as the opening of airports and seaports, the payment of public servants and then the resumption of a political process.

Griffiths spokesman Ismini Palla said Monday that the envoy had made progress in reducing differences between the warring factions that were hampering efforts to reach a peace deal.

“We are familiar with their negotiating positions and the gap between those positions,” she told Arab News. And indeed we are making progress in narrowing these differences with the help of a renewed regional and international momentum aimed at helping Yemen find a peaceful way out of this conflict.

The Kingdoms initiative to end the war, unveiled last month by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, has strengthened peace efforts and led to increased diplomatic activity in the region to find a solution.

This initiative includes a ceasefire, the reopening of Sanaa Airport and the seaport of Hodeidah, and the resumption of UN-supervised peace talks.

On Monday, the Yemeni government renewed its allegations about Houthis that were not serious in reaching a peace deal, citing rebels continuing military operations across the country, mostly in the central province of Marib.

During a meeting with UAE Ambassador to Yemen Salem Al-Ghafli, Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awadh bin Mubarak said the Houthis were moving forward with a large-scale offensive against the city of Marib, endangering the lives of tens of thousands of displaced people. .

The minister also warned that the Houthi military operation and its missile strikes on displacement camps in Marib would destroy peace efforts.

He renewed the demands of governments – that the international community put pressure on Iran to stop interfering in the affairs of Yemen by arming and financing the Houthi militia.

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