Yemen scraps Houthi talks on prisoner exchange

SANAA, Yemen: The Yemeni government announced that talks have been indefinitely postponed on a prisoner exchange with the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Majid Fadael, spokesperson and negotiator for the government’s prisoners, wrote in a statement on X that the planned talks in Jordan this week have been indefinitely postponed.

He noted that the talks were postponed due to the uncompromising stance of the Houthis and their obstruction of the meeting.

Pointing out that the Houthis had also obstructed a meeting planned in Switzerland in November, Fadail accused the Iran-backed group of continuing crimes against the Yemeni people and exploiting humanitarian issues in the political and media arena.

There has been no statement from the Houthis on the decision to postpone the talks.

Prisoner exchange between Houthis and Yemen

Yemen and the Houthis began talks on a prisoner exchange in Switzerland under the supervision of the UN on March 11.

Following negotiations, the parties reached an agreement on March 20 to mutually release 887 prisoners, including four journalists and prominent political, military and security figures.

Fadail announced April 19 that the three-day prisoner exchange had been completed, with approximately 900 prisoners released from both sides.

In discussions in Sweden in 2018, the parties presented a list of more than 15,000 prisoners, detainees and abducted individuals in efforts to address the crisis in Yemen.

War in Yemen and political solution efforts

Since September 2014, the Houthis have controlled the Yemeni capital of Sanaa and some regions in Yemen.

Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia have been supporting the Yemeni government against the Houthis since March 2015.

Saudi Arabia and Oman have been mediating between the government and the Houthis for months to prepare a comprehensive agreement to end the nine-year crisis.

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