Egypt approves flights from Houthi-held Yemen capital: Government

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Egypt has approved direct flights between Yemen’s Houthi-controlled capital and Cairo, the Yemeni government said Tuesday, in the latest sign of progress in the war-torn country.

The green light comes after the first commercial flight in six years flew from Sanaa to Amman in Jordan last week, as part of a UN-brokered truce between Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

“We express our deep thanks to the brotherly Egyptian government... for agreeing to operate direct flights between Sanaa and Cairo in accordance with the armistice agreement,” Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed bin Mubarak wrote on Twitter.

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“The competent authorities in the two countries will work in the coming days to coordinate and complete the technical procedures for operating the flights,” he added.

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to express his “sincere thanks... for allowing direct flights between Cairo and Sanaa within the framework of the UN armistice in Yemen,” an Egyptian foreign ministry statement said.

Weekly flights to and from Cairo and Amman are part of the truce agreement that went into effect on April 2, and is due to be renewed next week.

On May 16, a Yemenia plane carrying 126 passengers, including critically ill hospital patients and their relatives, became the first commercial flight to leave Sanaa since August 2016.

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