The Iran-backed Houthi militias have foiled prisoner exchange talks held recently in the Jordanian capital, Amman. Negotiations for a swap deal have lasted an entire week without any progress.
“The government delegation was ready to exchange all for all to avoid selectivity,” Yemen’s Deputy Human Rights Minister Majid Fadhail told Asharq Al-Awsat.
He also revealed that the legitimate government was prepared to accept any international committee from the UN or any party that is agreed upon to carry out the swap.
Moreover, the official clarified that it was Houthi intransigence that thwarted the deal. If implemented, the prisoner exchange agreement would have seen 2,223 detainees released from the two sides. Houthis were also set to release 19 Arab Coalition captives.
“The Houthis are constantly working to exploit this humanitarian file to achieve media and political gains and goals,” said Fadhail.
According to Fadhail, the Houthis have displayed clear inflexibility whether negotiations were sponsored by local groups or by the UN and international community.
He added that the week-long round of negotiations in Jordan was preceded by long discussions that were taking place remotely via videoconference.
These long discussions were held to decide on the names of prisoners that are eligible for the swap.
Fadhail moved on to explain that the round of talks in Amman was supposed to follow up on the process that was started by the remote negotiations.
“They were supposed to see an agreement on the exchange mechanism,” he added.
Nevertheless, the Houthis insisted on failing negotiations. Not only did they thwart hopes for a prisoner swap deal, but they also went as far as complicating the file even further.