The move came after the Houthis said they would only agree to a Saudi ceasefire proposal if air and sea barriers are lifted.
The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has cleared four fuel vessels to dock at the Red Sea port in Hodeidah, two sources familiar with the matter said, after a government known to Yemen’s internationals said on Wednesday that they had granted permission to import some vessels.
The move came after the Iranian-linked group Houthi, which has been fighting the coalition since it intervened to stop Houthi from taking over the country recently. six years and controls most major cities in Yemen, saying they would only agree to a Saudi ceasefire proposal if air and sea barriers are lifted.
Four vessels – including two carrying 45,000 tonnes of gas oil, one loaded with 5,000 tonnes of liquefied petrol gas, and a fourth tanker with 22,700 tonnes of fuel oil – have been licensed. from the consortium, sources told Reuters news agency.
On Wednesday morning, the four vessels had not yet begun moving towards the Houthis port, which is controlled by the Houthis and considered a way of life for the millions of conflict-affected Yemenis.
Rights groups have criticized Saudi navy and airstrikes on Yemen, saying it has become worse than one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters in a country where 80 percent of the population still receiving foreign aid.
The coalition and some aid agencies have accused the Houthis of obstructing aid efforts.
Data from the United Nations showed that, despite approval from the UN, on March 23, 14 fuel tankers were being maintained by coalition warships off the port. Some have been waiting six months for a dock.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia – which has been fighting Houthis since 2015 – announced a campaign to resolve the Yemeni crisis, proposing a unilateral halt, the reopening of International Airport Sanaa, and the beginning of negotiations under the auspices of the DA.
The Houthis rejected the campaign and said they would not agree to a ceasefire if the air and sea barriers imposed by the Saudi coalition were lifted.
“The supply of fuel, food, medical and basic supplies is a humanitarian and legal right for the Yemeni people,” said Houthi’s Mohammad Abdulsalam. “We will not accept any military or political conditions for obtaining them.”
Oman mediates US-Houthi talks
The United States, which last month announced its suspension of its support for the Saudi-led military coalition, welcomed the news that the ships had been cleared to enter Hodeidah.
“Free flow of fuel and other essential goods into and across Yemen is critical to support the delivery of humanitarian aid and other essential actions,” U.S. state department Ned Price said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Houthi group, which is linked to Iran, has revealed that they are in indirect contact with the US through Oman.
On Wednesday, the Houthis said that although they refused to hold meetings with DA ambassador Martin Griffiths, messages between them and the U.S. were conveyed by Oman.
“The U.S. situation varies from one administration to another in terms of manners, media consumption and reporting,” Houthi said Mohammed Abdulsalam said on the group’s Al Masirah TV channel.
He said the group had “not seen any change” since the Biden administration but would continue talks seeking a peace deal with Saudi Arabia.
Last month, reports surfaced of the first direct meeting between Abdulsalam and U.S. ambassador to Yemen Timothy Lenderking in the Oman capital Muscat.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Lenderking had pressured the Houthis to stop an attack they launched in Marib in northeastern Yemen and urged the group to intervene. actively with Riyadh in meaningful negotiations on ceasefire.