Iran Welcomes Prisoner Swap Deal between Yemen’s Warring Sides

Iran Welcomes Prisoner Swap Deal between Yemen’s Warring Sides
Head of the Houthi prisoner exchange committee Abdulkader al-Murtada shakes hands with Head of the Saudi-backed government's delegation Hadi Haig between ICRC Director for the Near and Middle East Fabrizio Carboni (left) and UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths at the end of a week-long meeting on a Yemen prisoner exchange agreement in Glion, western Switzerland. / Photo by AFP

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh has welcomed the Houthi Ansarullah Movement’s deal with the Saudi-backed Yemeni government of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi on swapping prisoners of war, and called on both sides to implement the agreement as soon as possible.

In a statement on Tuesday, Khatibzadeh said the Islamic Republic of Iran considers the deal as a move to help settle the current crisis in Yemen peacefully.

“The agreement showed that Yemen-Yemeni dialogue is the only solution to the country’s current problems,” he added.

He finally expressed hope that the success of this deal and the continued release of the remaining prisoners of war would pave the way for the beginning of Yemen-Yemeni political talks and lead to the cessation of war and aggression in the country.

The warring sides in Yemen reached a “milestone” agreement to swap more than 1,000 prisoners, as part of trust-building steps to revive stalled UN-brokered peace negotiations, the United Nations said last weekend.

The agreement was reached between Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and Saudi-led militants loyal to Yemen’s Saudi-allied former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

In a press conference on Sunday, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said he was “personally extremely pleased to be here to announce that you have reached a very important milestone.”

His remarks came shortly after a ceremony held in the Swiss village of Glion, where representatives of both sides agreed to release 1,081 prisoners as the largest prisoner swap since the Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen some five years ago.

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