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Yemeni Warring Parties Given 10 Days for Feedback on Prisoner Swap

Yemeni Warring Parties Given 10 Days for Feedback on Prisoner Swap

Friday, 18 January, 2019 - 09:30
Delegates discuss a prisoner swap deal in Amman, Jordan January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Yemeni peace talks held in the Jordanian capital, Amman, announced extending the deadline on delivering details about prisoners listed for the exchange by up to ten days.

After the ten days having passed, delegations of the Iran-backed Houthi militias and the Yemeni government will review lists of prisoners to be exchanged.

The UN-led negotiations were expected to go into a new phase, however, Houthis omitting information involving detainees included in the prisoner exchange inevitably led to stalling progress on the Stockholm Agreement.

Pushing the deadline will allow the government delegation, which will be leaving Amman Friday night, to prepare feedback on statements made by the Houthis, especially on the 232 detainees whose fate remains unknown due to the insurgents’ refusal to release any information concerning them.

Government delegation member Hadi al-Haij told Asharq Al-Awsat in a phone interview that the international community seems determined on having all conditions in the prisoner swap deal met so it becomes a milestone success and a breakthrough in the Yemeni conflict.

Haij said that his meeting with the UN Special Envoy to Yemen chiefly tackled the mechanisms involved in the prisoner swap.

He confirmed receiving revised lists from the Houthi delegation in Amman, and then agreed to have a feedback within the next three days and respond to the added feedback during the next ten days.

The Yemeni government has shown consistent compliance to implementing the terms of the agreement, however, it refuses to be denied clear answers about the fate of 1,800 of the 9,100 detainees, he added.

The two delegations gathered along with representatives of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Amman for a two-day meeting on the implementation of the prisoner exchange agreement.

An agreement on prisoner exchanges was reached in Sweden in mid-December 2018 as part of a round of consultations on Yemen's peace process.

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