Yemen: Saudi coalition allows four fuel ships to dock in Hodeidah | Conflict News

The move came after the Houthis said they would only accept a Saudi ceasefire proposal if the air and sea blockades were lifted.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has allowed four fuel ships to dock at the port of Hodeidah on the Red Sea in Yemen, two sources familiar with the matter said after the internationally recognized government of Yemen said on Wednesday he had approved the entry of some ships.

The move came after the Iran-aligned Houthi group, which has been fighting the coalition since stepping in to stop a Houthi takeover of the country six years ago and controls most major centers urbanites of Yemen, said he would only accept a Saudi Arabian. cease-fire proposal if the air and sea blockades are lifted.

Four ships – including two carrying a total of 45,000 tonnes of diesel fuel, one loaded with 5,000 tonnes of liquefied petroleum gas and a fourth tanker with 22,700 tonnes of fuel oil – have received clearance from the coalition, the sources told the. Reuters news agency.

As of Wednesday morning, the four ships had yet to begin heading for the port of Hodeidah, which is controlled by the Houthis and is seen as a lifeline for millions of conflict-affected Yemenis.

Rights groups have criticized the Saudi-led naval and air blockade on Yemen, saying it has exacerbated one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters in a country where 80% of the population survives thanks to foreign aid.

The coalition and some aid groups accused the Houthis of obstruction of aid efforts.

United Nations data showed that despite obtaining UN clearance, as of March 23, a total of 14 tankers were held up by coalition warships off the port. Some waited six months to land.

Saudi Arabia – which has been fighting the Houthis since 2015 – on Monday announced an initiative to resolve the Yemeni crisis, proposing a unilateral ceasefire, the reopening of the Sana’a international airport and the start of talks under the auspices of ONU.

The Houthis rejected the initiative and said they would only agree to a ceasefire if the air and sea blockades imposed by the Saudi coalition were lifted.

“The provision of fuel, food, medical supplies and basic necessities is a humanitarian and legal right for the Yemeni people,” said Houthi spokesman Mohammad Abdulsalam. “We do not accept any military or political conditions to receive them.”

Oman publicizes US-Houthi negotiations

The United States, which last month declared a stop his support for the Saudi-led military coalition, welcomed the news that ships had been allowed to enter Hodeidah.

“The free flow of fuel and other essential goods within and through Yemen is essential to support the delivery of humanitarian aid and other essential activities,” said the spokesperson for the department of Yemen. US State Ned Price in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Iran-aligned Houthi group has revealed it is in indirect contact with the United States via Oman.

On Wednesday, the Houthis said that if they refused to hold meetings with UN envoy Martin Griffiths, messages between them and the United States had been passed through Oman.

“The American position differs from administration to administration in terms of method, media consumption and publication of statements,” Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said on the group’s Al Masirah TV station. .

He added that the group had “not yet seen any change” from the Biden administration, but would continue talks for a peace deal with Saudi Arabia.

Last month there were reports of Abdulsalam’s first face-to-face meeting with US envoy to Yemen Timothy Lenderking in Muscat, the capital of Oman.

According to sources familiar with the matter, Lenderking had urged the Houthis to end an offensive they had launched in Marib in northeast Yemen and encouraged the group to actively engage with Riyadh in virtual ceasefire talks. -fire.

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