World Bulletin / News Desk
Jamal Benomar, the UN's special adviser on Yemen, arrived in Sanaa on Thursday for talks with Yemeni officials about recent political developments, a senior government source has said.
"Benomar will meet with senior officials and party leaders to discuss steps related to the country's political process," the source, requesting anonymity, told The Anadolu Agency.
Over the past two days, Sanaa has been rocked by clashes between Houthi militants and presidential guards near the presidential palace in Sanaa – which have left several dead – amid a seeming push by the Houthis to consolidate control over the country.
In a televised speech on Tuesday, group leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi laid down four conditions for ending Yemen's lingering political crisis.
He called for the speedy reform of a national committee tasked with overseeing the outcome of a National Dialogue Conference that ended one year ago.
He also called for amendment of a draft constitution; implementation of an earlier peace and partnership agreement; and comprehensive reform of the nation's security apparatus.
One day later, Yemen's official news agency, which the Houthis had also seized earlier, reported that the presidency had vowed to amend the constitution and raise the number of seats in parliament's upper house within one week.
The Houthis seized Sanaa last September and have since moved to extend their control to other provinces.
Some Arab capitals accuse Shiite Iran of backing Yemen's ongoing Houthi insurgency.
Yemen has remained in a state of relative lawlessness since a popular uprising that erupted in 2011 forced autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down one year later.