Reports & News

Fri - 07 Dec 2018 - 09:21 PM ،،،

gulfnews


 Rimbo: Yemen’s government supports the reopening of Sana’a international airport, shut down for years in the country’s brutal war, but only under supervision, an official said Thursday.

“We are keen on the opening of Sana’a airport, and we demand the opening of Sana’a airport and we know that the Yemeni citizen should have the right to reach any country in the world through Sana’a airport,” said Abdul Aziz Jabari, a presidential advisor and member of a Yemeni government delegation at UN-brokered peace talks in Sweden.

“But... we are looking into who will supervise Sana’a airport.”

The airport is controlled by Yemeni rebels, who have battled the government for nearly four years.

Yemen’s warring sides are holding talks in a picturesque castle just outside Stockholm. It is the first real talks in over two years.

Martin Griffiths, the UN special envoy, is shuttling between Al Houthi rebels and representatives of the Yemeni government.

The Arab world’s poorest nation has been gripped by a three-year civil war fought between the Iranian-backed Houthis and a government largely backed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Griffiths said his initial aim for the talks, the first since 2016 , was to secure some confidence-building measures including the prisoner swap, the reopening of the airport in the capital Sana’a, and the possible UN administration of the strategic Red Sea port of Hodeida, through which almost 80 per cent of international aid enters the country.

A prisoner swap deal was announced on Thursday which would reunite thousands of families.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (IRCC) said at least 5,000 people would be freed.

Hodeida offensive still an option

A government offensive on Yemen’s Hodeida is still an option if rebels refuse to withdraw from the port city, a minister said Thursday, as the warring sides met for UN-brokered talks.

“We are now in negotiations in response to calls by the international community, the UN and the UN envoy. We are still looking into means towards peace,” said Othman al-Mujalli, Yemen’s agriculture minister.

“But if they (the rebels) are not responsive, we have many options, including that of military decisiveness,” he said in response to a question on the rebel-held city. “And we are ready.”