Amidst renewed efforts from Saudi Arabia to mediate a lasting peace between the warring factions, the Arab nations and organizations have praised the successful three-day prisoner exchange between the Yemeni government and the Houthis.
Mohammed Al-Jaber, the Kingdom’s envoy to Yemen, and delegation from Oman went to Sanaa last week to discuss with the Houthis ‘stabilize the truce and ceasefire’ and, eventually, end conflict in the war-torn country.
The multi-day humanitarian operation transferred nearly 900 detainees into and out of several cities in Yemen and Saudi Arabia under the auspices of the United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The Arab Parliament, in a statement, welcomed the prisoner exchange operation and stressed that these ‘efforts were part of the Arab’s continuous efforts to calm the situation in Yemen and reach a comprehensive political solution that ends the Yemeni crisis.’
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) secretary general Hissein Brahim Taha also lauded the prisoner exchange as an important humanitarian operation, which took place during the holy month of Ramadan.
The OIC leader expressed hope that the prisoner swap would give a new boost to efforts of achieving peace in Yemen through the mediation efforts of Saudi Arabia and Oman.
Egypt’s foreign affairs ministry meanwhile described the prisoner transfer as “a positive and significant step towards renewing the Yemeni truce and achieving comprehensive and sustainable peace.
Cairo also expressed full support for efforts to restore security and stability in Yemen and alleviate the humanitarian crisis that Yemenis are facing.
The Jordanian foreign affairs ministry meanwhile praised the important role the UN and ICRC played in sponsoring the prisoner exchange operations and hailed the efforts made by Saudi Arabia and Oman’s delegations with regard to the agreement.
Both sides are optimistic of more prisoner exchanges in the future, with the Houthi side planning to propose exchanging 1,400 people during the next round of discussions while Yemeni government ‘dedicated to exchanging all detainees with the Houthis as well as clearing jails of those who had been kidnapped or forcefully vanished during the war.’