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UN Envoy Overcomes the Obstacle of Houthi Travel Documents from Sanaa

By Aden - Ali Rabih
The UN Envoy with the Presidential Leadership Council President, Rashad al-Alimi, Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik, and the Deputy head of the Presidential Leadership Council, Tariq Saleh (UN)

The UN envoy to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, has succeeded in overcoming the obstacle of Houthi travel documents, which prevented the resumption of commercial flights from Sanaa airport, just two weeks before the two-month ceasefire ends.

The Envoy gained the legitimate government's approval to travel documents issued in Sanaa and the rest of the Houthi-controlled areas during the ceasefire, which will allow the resumption of flights from Sanaa airport.

According to an official statement, the government agreed to operate flights from Sanaa airport to Jordan during the settlement period to allow the Yemenis to travel with passports issued by Sanaa and other governorates.

Houthis insisted on adopting travel documents that were not recognized by the legitimate government, which prevented flights to the specified travel destinations.

The Yemeni government said that the approval came out of its total commitment to serving the people and alleviating their suffering caused by the Houthi militia coup in 2014, which rejected all political solutions.

In its statement, the cabinet stated that its agreement also came in appreciation of the efforts made by the UN chief’s envoy to overcome Houthi intransigence despite the militia’s seizure of the Hodeidah port revenues.

The government stressed that the pledges in the initiative of the Envoy confirm that this does not entail any change in the legal status of the Yemeni government and is not a recognition of the militias.

The statement noted that the Yemeni government would not be responsible for any data contained in documents issued by Sanaa and other governorates.

The government directed its embassy in Amman to facilitate the issuance of legitimate passports at its expense for all citizens traveling on these trips, following the legal procedures.

It asserted it was keen to maintain the ceasefire and establish a new path for peace, calling for the full implementation of the truce while stressing that all violations should be stopped.

The statement called on the UN envoy to use the revenues of Hodeidah port to pay state employees' wages in Houthi-controlled areas.

The statement said the militias are responsible for not paying the wages, which disrupted state institutions.

The Yemeni government affirmed its efforts to achieve peace, calling to choose the path of peace under national and international references and in a way that preserves Yemen's sovereignty, its system, unity, and territorial integrity, as well as the people's right to freedom, social justice, and equality.

The statement called on the international community to pressure the Houthi militia to end the war and its threats to the stability of neighboring countries, the region, and shipping.

Meanwhile, the UN envoy is expected to brief the Security Council on the latest developments in his efforts in Yemen, following the request of international and regional support to extend the ceasefire, hoping to launch peace consultations.

Many Yemenis doubt Houthis will agree to long-lasting peace, and there are fears of renewed fighting after the truce constituted an opportunity for the militias to rearrange their forces.

Earlier, the UN envoy met in Aden with the Presidential Leadership Council President Rashad al-Alimi, Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik, and the Deputy head of the Presidential Leadership Council, Tariq Saleh.

Grundberg asserted the parties need to move swiftly in implementing all elements of the truce in parallel to reduce the impact of the war on civilians and facilitate the freedom of movement of people and goods, adding: "I urge them to work constructively and demonstrate their commitment in all its humanitarian elements."

"I will continue my active support to Yemeni parties to identify solutions, increase confidence and build on the truce to move towards a comprehensive and sustainable political solution that meets the legitimate aspirations of Yemeni women and men."

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Dive Deeper:
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Yemen takes step to allow flights from rebel-held capital: official
Aden (AFP) - Yemen's government will permit citizens living in areas controlled by Huthi rebels to travel on Huthi-issued passports,…
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
1st commercial flight in years takes off from Yemen's Sanaa
Yemen’s Houthi rebels say the first commercial flight in six years has taken off from the rebel-held capital, Sanaa
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Get all your news in one place