Alwaght- The Saudi-led coalition and its proxies have inked a UN-facilitated deal for exchanging prisoners with Ansarullah movement, ahead of the peace negotiations due to be launched in Sweden.
Abdul Qader al-Murtaza, chairman of the Ansarullah-run Committee for Prisoners’ Affairstold Turkey’s Anadolu news agency on Monday “The UN special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, communicated to us that coalition forces and the Yemeni [self-proclaimed] government have also signed the prisoner exchange agreement that was signed in November by the Ansarullah,” he said.
Murtaza also noted that the agreement marks the first step towards resolving the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
Peace talks between Yemen’s opposite parties are expected to begin in Sweden as early as Wednesday.
Griffiths arrived in Sana’a, the Ansarullah-run Yemeni capital, on Monday to escort the Ansarullah delegation to the planned discussions.
Meanwhile, a UN source told Reuters that the former Saudi-backed regime had also confirmed that it would follow the Ansarullah to the Sweden peace talks.
On Monday, a UN-chartered plane carrying 50 wounded Houthi fighters and three Yemeni doctors left Sana’a for Oman's capital, Muscat, for treatment. The plane took off just a few hours after the UN envoy arrived in Sana’a.
Griffiths thanked all parties for facilitating the evacuation of the wounded fighters.
Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Ansarullah’s political bureau, told Reuters that the movement’s delegation would travel to Sweden Tuesday morning on a plane provided by Kuwait and accompanied by Griffiths.
However, Yemeni Minister of Information Daifallah al-Shami said that the Ansarullah had not received any official invitation for the UN-mediated peace talks in Sweden.
“So far (December 2), we have not received any invitation directly from the UN on peace talks in Sweden. From the efforts of UN and its special envoy, we can't see any clear vision for peace talks,” he said.
The previous round of the peace talks collapsed in the Swiss city of Geneva in September.