Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani said, on Tuesday, that his country welcomes the agreement on the exchange of prisoners in Yemen under the auspices of the United Nations and the Red Cross.
According to the Iranian News Agency (IRNA), Kanani considered the efforts of the “National Salvation” government in Yemen, which is controlled by the “Ansar Allah” group (Houthis), to reach an agreement on the exchange of prisoners of war “an important step in the path of achieving humanitarian issues and promoting a political solution.” to the crisis.”
The spokesman expressed his hope that “this agreement and the continuation of the liberation of the rest of the prisoners of war will contribute to providing the necessary confidence for conducting political dialogue and establishing comprehensive peace in Yemen,” he said.
Houthi negotiators announced on Twitter that the internationally recognized Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels had agreed on Monday to exchange prisoners after talks in Switzerland.
The Houthi negotiator, Abdul Qadir Mortada, and the spokesman for the Houthi group, Muhammad Abdul Salam, said on Twitter that 706 Houthi prisoners will be released in exchange for 181 prisoners from the Yemeni government, including 15 Saudis and 3 Sudanese.
The agreement was facilitated by the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross in Switzerland. CNN has reached out to the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross for comment.
“We concluded the round of negotiations on the prisoner file here in Switzerland, and it was agreed to implement a broad prisoner exchange agreement,” Mortada said.
He added that the agreement will be implemented within 3 weeks, and another round of negotiations will take place after the month of Ramadan.
Yemen is still going through the longest pause in fighting in its civil war since the two-month truce between the Yemeni government backed by Saudi Arabia and the Houthi rebels that began in April last year.
The UN special envoy for Yemen, Hans Grundberg, said in January that despite the failure to renew the truce agreement in October, “there has been no major escalation or changes on the front lines.”
In the past, there have been prisoner exchanges between Yemen’s warring parties, including a large-scale exchange brokered by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 2020 involving more than 1,000 prisoners from both sides.
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