Yemen Foes to Negotiate Prisoner Exchange
Yemen’s Saudi-backed government, and Houthi rebels supported by Iran, have agreed to meet in Switzerland for further discussions on the release of prisoners under the auspices of the United Nations. “The parties committed to release conflict-related prisoners and detainees back in 2018 in Stockholm, and furthered their discussions to fulfill that commitment in Amman earlier this year,” the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, told the Security Council. “What I hope is that this meeting will actually result in the release of some prisoners.” An unnamed UN official told the Reuters news agency that the Swiss talks would get underway on Thursday. Griffiths added that he was working to obtain a total cease-fire in the Shi’ite Houthis’ decade-long war against the Sunni-led government, which was dislodged from the capital Sanaa in late 2014. “Now is the time for the parties to swiftly conclude the negotiations,” he said. A senior Houthi official told Reuters that rebel negotiators were ready to travel to Switzerland.