Jalal Al-Ruwaishan, a leader in the Ansar Allah group (Houthis), said that the Omani delegation visiting Sana'a is playing a mediating role, and that there is hope for progress.

Last Wednesday, an Omani delegation arrived in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, as part of the ongoing diplomatic efforts to bridge views between the Yemeni government and the Houthis, especially the issue of extending the armistice.

The Houthi-affiliated "Al-Masirah" channel quoted Al-Ruwaishan, who is the deputy prime minister for defense and security affairs in the unrecognized Houthi government, as saying that 3 periods of UN truces indicate that he has no intentions of proceeding to alleviate the suffering, as he put it.

The Houthi official did not rule out "a good step" in the salary file, noting that there are some points of contention in this context.

He said that the Omani delegation carried ideas from the coalition countries "related to the salaries of one million and 300 thousand employees."

He added, "The salary file is a private entitlement for every Yemeni citizen affiliated with any state institution, and it must be disbursed from Yemeni oil revenues."

On December 7, the US envoy to Yemen, Timothy Lenderking, held the Houthis responsible for the failure of efforts to extend the armistice.

Accusing the group of stipulating that the salaries of its fighters be paid from oil revenues in government-controlled areas.

There is no official statistics on the number of civil servants in Houthi-controlled areas, but non-governmental reports estimated their number at about half a million employees.

The government stipulates that all financial revenues in areas under Houthi control be transferred to the central bank in Aden, in return for handing over the salaries of employees in the areas under the group's control. However, the Houthi group insists that "salaries are supposed to be delivered throughout Yemen from oil and gas revenues that control by the government.”

Armistice extension

The warring parties in Yemen failed to extend the truce agreement in the country, which lasted for 6 months under the auspices of the United Nations, and ended on the second of last October.

During the past few years, UN and international efforts to renew and expand the armistice have intensified, as a prelude to achieving a political settlement to the conflict in Yemen.

Yemen has been witnessing a war for 8 years between government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition forces on the one hand, and the Houthi group accused of receiving support from Iran on the other hand, since the Houthis took control of Sana'a in September 2014.