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Updated On: Friday, 19 July 2019

Confidence-building measures continue in new Yemen prisoner-swap talks

Content by: UN News Centre

According to a statement from the Office of the UN Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, representatives from the Government of Yemen and the Houthi opposition, Ansar Allah, will attend at a meeting in Amman, Jordan, on Tuesday.

A prisoner exchange agreement was signed in Sweden last December and represents the first accord between the two parties since the downward spiraling conflict began in Yemen nearly four years ago – sparking the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The UN Special Envoy’s office describes this round of meetings as “technical”, adding that those present will discuss steps to finalize the lists of prisoners to be released, “to advance the implementation of the [Stockholm] agreement”.

The development follows a meeting on Sunday between the UN Mission to support the HudaydahAgreement (UNMHA), and Yemen’s belligerents in the embattled Red Sea port of Hudaydah.

A statement by the mission noted that the head of the taskforce, retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert, underlined the importance of the ceasefire agreement, which came into effect on 18 December.

The General also warned the parties about the fragility of the ceasefire and urged them to instruct their commanders on the ground “to refrain from any further violations that would jeopardize … the broader peace process for Yemen”.

In what are described as “cordial and constructive” talks, both the Yemeni Government and Houthi delegations also reiterated their “commitment” to open up the Hudaydah to Sana’a road to allow humanitarian access to the Red Sea Mills.

Progress towards political agreement ‘vital’

Meanwhile, the Security Council stressed the “vital importance” of making progress towards a political agreement to end the conflict and “relieve the humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people”.

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