AMMAN: The Yemeni government negotiators called on the international community to exert more pressure on the Houthis over reopening roads in Taiz and other provinces.
In a statement released Tuesday by the Yemen news agency (SABA), the team urged all sides to honor the proposal submitted by the UN Special for Yemen Hans Grundberg to open five roads, including a main road, in Taiz governorate and other provinces.
“[The proposal] represents the minimal demands of the people of Taiz,” the team of negotiators added.
The internationally recognized government and the Iran-backed Houthis agreed on Thursday to extend the truce for two more months after concerted pressure from the UN and international aid groups.
Lifting the siege around Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city, and elsewhere in Yemen was part of a truce the UN brokered early in April.
The Yemeni government negotiators said after over two weeks of negotiations in the Jordanian capital of Amman, the Houthis were still resisting the idea of opening the main roads in Taiz and, instead, were building narrow “dirt roads” that “fail to achieve the goal of lifting the siege and alleviating people’s suffering.”
The team added, “The Houthi militias are, in fact, acting unilaterally to impose roads that have not been agreed on yet and that are far from negotiations, which led to the halt of negotiations to this point.”
The negotiators urged Grundberg to exert the necessary pressure on the militias to speed up the implementation of the opening of the main roads and prevent the Houthis from using up the time of the second truce without meeting the agreement “which must be fully – not partially- implemented.”
The Houthis have imposed a siege on the government-held city of Taiz, the capital of the province by the same name, since March 2016.
The two sides began the second round of direct discussion in Amman on Sunday after failing to reach an agreement on lifting the militia's blockade of Taiz in the first round of talks late last month.