A Saudi-Omani delegation is planning to travel to Yemen’s capital Sanaa next week to hash out a permanent ceasefire deal with Houthi officials and end the country’s eight-year conflict, two sources involved in the talks said.
If an agreement is reached, Yemen’s warring parties could announce an agreement before Islam’s Eid al-Fitr holiday starting April 20, the sources said.
The discussions are focused on a full reopening of Yemen’s ports and airports, payment of wages for public servants, a rebuilding process and a political transition, they added.
In an additional sign of progress, the Arab Coalition lifted eight-year-old restrictions on imports headed for Yemen’s southern ports, the internationally-recognized government said.
This follows the easing of restrictions in February on commercial goods entering the Houthi-held western port of Hodeidah, the country’s main seaport.
The Yemeni government said on Thursday that commercial ships would be allowed to dock directly in southern ports, including Aden, and all goods would be cleared, with some exceptions.
Abu Bakr Abeed, deputy head of Yemen’s Chambers of Commerce, told Reuters ships would not have to stop at the Saudi Red Sea port of Jeddah for security checks for the first time since the Arab Coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015.
Abeed said more than 500 types of goods would be allowed back in Yemen through southern ports, including fertilizers and batteries, after they were removed from a list of banned products.