ADEN, Yemen- A Yemeni government official said on Friday, that, a number of conditions should be set, for the re-opening of the Sanaa International Airport.

"The government does not mind re-opening Sana'a airport, and it is working to provide help for all citizens across the country, even those in the Houthi-controlled provinces," a government official said.

"But the airport's operations must be placed under the government's supervision, including the inspection of planes arriving at and departing from Sanaa," the official said.

If not, "the airport will remain closed because the rebels will use it for illegal purposes," the source noted.

On Thursday, local media reported that senior Houthi leaders threatened to fully close the airport, considered a crucial humanitarian aid gateway and used for the delivery of urgent aid, if their demands are not met.

Yemen's Foreign Minister, Khaled Yamani, head of the government's negotiating team in Sweden, demanded the Houthi rebels completely withdraw from the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah and hand over their weapons.

"The Houthis should withdraw from institutions of the state and hand them back to the legitimate government. They should respect the will of the international community and surrender their arms, ammunition and missiles," Yamani said, in a statement.

The Houthis refused to abide by the UN Security Council Resolution 2216, which stipulates their withdrawal from the areas they seized in 2014, and the handover of heavy weapons to the legitimate government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Observers argued that the Houthis will not give up their arms, as both parties still don't have goodwill to reach a peace deal.

The UN-sponsored peace talks, to build confidence between the Yemeni warring parties, kicked off on Thursday in Sweden, in the first step to resume the political process, which ceased in 2016.

The talks are expected to last a week, depending on the consultation's progress, according to Hanan Eldawadi, chief public information officer, at the UN Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen.

The warring parties have held several rounds of peace talks since the conflict began, after Houthis seized power in late 2014.

However, all talks collapsed and failed to achieve a political agreement, leading to more violence.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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