News ID: 114669
Publish Date : 05 May 2023 - 23:04

Yemen’s Warring Sides Say Ready to Resume Prisoner Exchange Talks

SANA’A (Xinhua/Arab News) – The Yemeni warring parties have both announced their readiness to resume UN-facilitated negotiations on the exchange of prisoners and detainees.
In a statement, the Saudi-backed prisoner affairs committee voiced its readiness to join the meetings on May 15 that aimed at putting an end to the plight of prisoners.
The committee called on the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross to continue facilitating the exchange of prisoners between the Yemeni warring sides without preconditions.
It also reaffirmed the commitment to free all prisoners and put an end to the humanitarian issue on the basis of an “all-for-all” principle.
For their part, officials from the Sana’a-based government also said they were fully ready to join the next round of negotiations on prisoner exchange.
Abdulkadir al-Murtada, head of the Yemeni government’s prisoner affairs’ committee, said he met with the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg and his team in Sana’a, and discussed ways to advance the prisoner exchange issue.
According to al-Murtada, the Yemeni government has informed the UN envoy of its willingness to have mutual prison visits as previously arranged as well as to participate in the upcoming negotiations in mid-May.
Meanwhile, the UN Yemen envoy said that he had a productive meeting with Yemen’s Saudi-backed officials in the country’s southern city of Aden, a day after expressing similar optimism following a meeting with the government officials in Sana’a.
Hans Grundberg urged both sides to take advantage of the recent progress in peace efforts and the international support for ending the war in order to make concessions and begin negotiations, emphasizing that the Yemeni conflict can only be resolved through dialogue and political will.
Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with a number of its allies and with arms and logistical support from the United States and several other Western states.
The objective was to return power to Yemen’s former Riyadh-backed regime and crush the popular Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.
While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to achieve its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.