Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Ahmed al-Maissari said that the Yemeni government will not engage in dialogue with the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council, stressing the legitimacy of restoring the interim capital.
In an apparent confirmation of the Yemeni government's rejection of an invitation from Saudi Arabia to participate in a dialogue with the Council in Jeddah, al-Maissari said in an audio recording that the Yemeni government will not sit with the transitional council at the same dialogue table, stressing that this decision is settled in all institutions of Yemeni legitimacy.
He added that if there is dialogue, it will be with the UAE as the owner of military tools. He also said in the audio recording that the UAE is the main party to the conflict and that it provides a free service to the Houthis.
Al-Maissari stressed that the legitimate government will return to Aden by peace or war, saying that the Yemeni national army is ready for that.
The Yemeni minister's comments came as the head of the Southern Transitional Council, Aidroos al-Zubaidi, arrived in the Saudi city of Jeddah, his second visit to the city in less than two weeks.
Council spokesman Nizar Haitham said Zubeidi and his delegation arrived in Jeddah in response to Saudi Arabia's call for dialogue to end the crisis in southern Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has recently called on the parties to the conflict in southern Yemen to hold a dialogue in Jeddah, but the Yemeni government stipulated that the withdrawal of the forces of the Transitional Council, which seeks to restore the state of southern Yemen, from all institutions and government camps recently seized by force of arms.
After the recent coup in Aden, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi accused the UAE of supporting the transitional council coup and seeking to divide Yemen, while members of the government called on him to demand that the UAE leave the coalition.
In the meantime, Al Jazeera obtained special photographs showing the arrival of military reinforcements of the Yemeni government forces to the southern province of Abyan.
The reinforcements come days after UAE warplanes bombarded government forces at the flag point at the entrance to the city of Aden, killing and wounding more than 300 Yemeni army troops, according to a toll announced by Yemeni officials.
Emirati shelling of Yemeni government forces at the flag point and elsewhere prevented them from taking control of Aden and other southern cities.
Meanwhile, two local officials in Yemen said that Saudi forces, including military vehicles, arrived over the weekend in the town of Ataq, the center of Shabwa province, which witnessed battles between the UAE-backed Shabwani elite forces and the legitimate government forces.
In addition to Aden, the Southern Transitional Council (NTC) forces control parts of other southern provinces such as al-Dali 'and Lahj, while losing cities and towns in the oil-rich Shabwa province as well as in Abyan.