A Saudi officer monitors air operations over Yemen at the Command and Control Centre at King Salman airbase in Riyadh on Saturday. Resistance forces backed by coalition troops have made progress in the past few days as a massive offensive to liberate Taiz is underway. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Expectations remained low as consultation talks on Yemen took place in Muscat on Sunday.

“Al Houthi militants and their allies, supporters of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, are not serious and are looking for ways to buy time,” said Mahmoud Al Azani, a Yemeni political expert.

He believes that tangible results will be reached only after Yemeni and coalition forces liberate Taiz.

“They are still not accepting to implement the terms of the UN resolution,” the UK-based analyst told Gulf News in a telephone interview.

UN Security Council resolution 2216, which was issued earlier this year stipulates several steps to end the civil war. It calls on Al Houthis to withdraw from all areas seized, relinquish arms seized from military and security institutions, cease all actions falling exclusively within the authority of the legitimate Government of Yemen and fully implement previous Council resolutions.

“Al Houthis might be betting on changes in the regional and international areas before they seriously approach the talks,” he added.

Taiz is one of the few remaining governorates under Al Houthi control, after they suffered a string of losses to coalition forces. The capital Sana’a is still occupied but military experts believe that Taiz is the gateway to Sana’a and once Taiz falls, Al Houthis will quickly surrender.

Resistance forces backed by coalition troops have made progress in the past few days as a massive offensive to liberate Taiz has been dispatched from Aden.

They are now in control of Rahida on the southern outskirts of Taiz and have passed safety despite several landmines placed by Al Houthis.

Taiz residents have been under a crippling Al Houthi-imposed siege, as the militants continue to block critical supplies including food and water into the city.

Yemeni President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi arrived in Aden last week to direct the war to liberate Taiz. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Khalid Bahah was in Marib on Sunday, accompanied by two ministers for legal affairs. He was scheduled to meet with local military and civilian leaders.

At least 5,500 Yemenis have been killed in the conflict which intensified in March after a Saudi-led coalition decided to step in to liberate the Yemeni people after Iran-backed Al Houthi militants took over and placed Hadi on house arrest.

He later escaped and fled to Riyadh where he ruled in exile.