First Tangible Success of Sweden Talks: Captives’ Lists

Sunday, 9 December, 2018 - 11:45
Rimbo, Sweden - Badr al-Qahtani

A prisoner swap and exchanging lists of captives were the first fruitful outcomes of the three days of Yemen peace talks held in Sweden.

Yemen's Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday that the processes of handing out and receiving the detainees and captives lists will occur within the coming hours, deeming the development as positive and constructive for the consultations.

During a phone-call, Yamani said that progress will be made in the airports issue, including Sanaa airport, on Sunday and Monday.

United Nations envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith commended the positive spirit that the legitimate government and Iran-backed Houthi militias were demonstrating at the Sweden talks.

“The two parties are engaged in a serious and constructive way in discussing the details of confidence-building measures, the reduction of violence and the framework for negotiations. We hope we will achieve progress during this round of consultations”.

Griffiths reiterated the importance of continued restraint on the ground and called on the two parties to respect their obligations under International Humanitarian Law.

“We are working to the background of a very fragile situation in Yemen. We hope that de-escalation will be maintained on different front lines, to give a chance for progress to be achieved on the political consultations”.

Member of Houthis delegation Abdul-Malik Al-Hajri said enough progress has been made on the airport issue that some positive results could be announced as early as Sunday.

"There was a wide-ranging discussion on the re-opening of Sanaa airport and, God willing, there will be some positive results tomorrow on a comprehensive scenario for the reopening of Sanaa airport," he told a news conference. He suggested Amman, Jordan's capital, as a candidate for an inspection stopover.

Abdel-Wahhab Tawaf, Yemen's former ambassador to Syria, hailed the talks in Sweden. He lauded the efforts exerted by the UN and the international community to find a comprehensive resolution for the Yemeni crisis.

Tawaf stressed that Griffiths should rely on the three references as the basis for the solution Moreover, the UN and international aid organizations operating in Yemen must not replace the role of Yemeni official institutions.

He added that finding ways to implement UN resolution 2216 is the basis of the UN work in Yemen.

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