Yemen: government and Houthi prisoner-swap deal stalls

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The fifth meeting of the Supervisory Committee for the Implementation of the Prisoners and Detainees Exchange Agreement between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels has concluded in Amman without making any progress, Anadolu has reported.

The news agency quoted an anonymous Yemeni government official as saying that the Houthis have sought in every way to thwart this round of talks, despite the government making concessions in order to make it succeed.

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“The Houthis have submitted names of prisoners who do not exist and demanded their release, in order to thwart the round,” he claimed. “The group has also refused to exchange the four journalists kidnapped and sentenced to death in exchange for the release of Houthi prisoners of war.”

The source noted that the government’s negotiating team has repeatedly asked the office of the UN Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, to put pressure on the Houthis to make the round a success, but to no avail.

Later on Sunday, Griffiths said that the two sides did not agree to release prisoners during this round of talks in the Jordanian capital. “I am disappointed that this round of talks did not amount to what we saw in Switzerland last September which resulted in the historic release of 1,056 detainees,” he added.

The Houthis did not make any comment.

READ: MP says Iran, UAE seek to divide Yemen

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