Yemen's Saudi-backed government said on Saturday it agreed to a two-point plan advanced by the United Nations to ease suffering in the country's civil war, but the Iran-aligned Houthis remained sceptical.
On Thursday the UN Security Council urged the warring parties to agree on a UN-brokered plan to keep the Houthi-held port of Hodeidah out of the fighting and to resume government salary payments.
The UN has proposed that Hodeidah, a vital aid delivery point on the Red Sea where some 80 percent of Yemen's food imports arrive, should be turned over to a neutral party. The UN Security Council warned the Saudi-led Arab coalition, that is fighting the Houthis, against any attempt to extend the war to the port.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi said in a tweet his government renewed its acceptance of the proposals first made by UN Yemen envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in May.
But a spokesperson for the Houthis said the Security Council through its statements was encouraging the Saudi-led alliance to resume its strikes and that they reserved the right to respond to any aggression.
"We reaffirm that the army and local committees have all the right and legality to respond to the alliance," a statement by Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdelsalam said.
The Saudi-led coalition has accused the Houthis of using Hodeidah to smuggle in weapons and ammunition and has called for UN monitors to be posted there. The Houthis deny the allegations.
Many thousands of Yemeni state workers are also facing destitution as their salaries have gone largely unpaid for several months after the internationally-recognised government shifted Yemen's central bank to Aden from the capital Sanaa, which is now controlled by the Houthis.
UN Yemen envoy Ould Cheikh Ahmed had told the Security Council on May 30 that he had proposed a deal to avoid military clashes in Hodeidah to be negotiated in parallel with an agreement to resume civil service salary payments nationally.
However, he noted the Houthis and the allied General People's Congress, the party of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, would not meet with him.
Yemen has been torn apart by more than two years of civil war that pits the Houthi group against the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is backed by the Saudi-led alliance.
Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian catastrophe as two years of civil war that have disabled most health care facilities. There are more than a hundred thousand reported cases of cholera.
One of the world's poorest nations, Yemen has also seen its food security deteriorate dramatically since its civil war escalated. More than 17 million people do not have enough to eat.
More than 10,000 people have died in the conflict.