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2,200 Names in Yemeni Prisoner Swap Talks

2,200 Names in Yemeni Prisoner Swap Talks

Monday, 11 February, 2019 - 06:45
United Nations Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths and International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer speak to the media during a new round of talks by Yemen's warring parties on a prisoners swap deal, in Amman, Jordan February 5, 2019. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
Jeddah - Aden - Asma Al-Ghabiri and Ali Rabih

Under Secretary for the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights Majed Fadayel said Sunday that parties engaged in talks held in Jordan on a UN-sponsored prisoner exchange in Yemen’s war have submitted a primary list of 2,200 names that will be included in the swap.

Fadayel, a member of the Yemeni committee overseeing talks on the prisoner exchange, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the number is subject to a rise.

He said talks between the Yemeni warring parties are ongoing, except for a short pause during which the two sides return to their leaderships to discuss details requiring approval such as the rejection of Houthi militias to release the four figures included in UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

Houthis and members of the legitimate government have engaged in two rounds of talks in the Jordanian capital Amman to hammer out details of the prisoner exchange they agreed last December.

The United Nations is backing the swap, in addition to a ceasefire in the city of Hodeidah as a confidence building measure to eventually bring the four-year-long conflict to a peace deal.

Meanwhile, a government official expressed to Asharq Al-Awsat his rejection to any efforts to fragment the implementation of December's Stockholm Agreement, including the withdrawal of Houthis from Hodeidah and its ports.

Last week, following three rounds of talks aboard a UN ship in Hodeidah’s harbor, the UN announced that both sides agreed on a preliminary compromise, pending further consultation by the parties with their respective leaders.

According to the UN, the proposal, forwarded by Danish General Michael Lollesgaard, who heads a UN observer mission, “proved acceptable, in principle.”

UN sources predicted that UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths should visit Sanaa on Monday for talks with Houthi leaders.

The envoy will try to convince militias to accept the new plan for implementing the Hodeidah deal.

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