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Yemeni Government Stresses Need to Fight Houthi Evasiveness with Prisoner Swap Deal

Yemeni Government Stresses Need to Fight Houthi Evasiveness with Prisoner Swap Deal

Thursday, 17 January, 2019 - 10:15
At left, Abdelqader al-Murtada and Saelem Mohammed Noman Al-Mughalles, representatives of the Ansar Allah delegation and at right, Askar Zaeil and Hadi al-Hayi representing the delegation of the Government of Yemen sit at the negotiating table together with representatives from the office of the U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen and the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) when lists of prisoners are exchanged, a first step to implement the agreement to release all prisoners by the two parties, during the ongoing peace talks on Yemen held at Johannesberg Castle, in Rimbo, near Stockholm, Sweden, December 11, 2018. TT News Agency/Claudio Bresciani via REUTERS
Jeddah- Saeed Al Abyad
Yemeni Foreign Ministry Khaled al-Yamani confirmed the government delegate, alongside Saudi and UAE representatives, has prepared and presented a strong letter criticizing violations committed by Iran-backed Houthi militiamen.

Houthis, despite signing to the UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement, have carried continued amassing fighters, building weapon capacities, digging trenches and looting humanitarian relief and exploiting it for the group’s apparently ongoing war effort.

“Coupists, given the group’s evasive behavior when it comes to the prisoner swap issue, seem to be practicing multi-faceted extortion against the international community,” al-Yamani told Asharq Al-Awsat on the eve of launching prisoner exchange talks in Amman, Jordan.

Yemen’s warring sides have started talks in the Jordanian capital about a deal to free thousands of prisoners as part of UN-led peace efforts.

The top diplomat said that the Yemeni government wishes for the international community and the humanitarian relief groups to weigh in and place pressure on Houthis so that they comply with commitments.

Houthis do not seem determined on fulfilling agreements, al-Yamani said while pointing out that the international community is well aware that the Iran-backed militia is unwilling to comply with peace efforts and doesn’t seriously want a solution for the conflict.

He went on to reaffirm the unquestionable support the internationally-recognized Yemeni government, headed by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, holds for UN-led peace efforts, saying that it stems from a conviction that diplomacy is the only solution to empower state institutions and to dismantle the detrimental agenda upheld by coupists.

According to al-Yamani, Houthis refusing to provide details on 232 detainees covered by the UN Security Council resolution 2216 is a grave violation that undermines confidence-building measures initiated by the Stockholm agreement.

Adressing questions on the arrival of a number of European ambassadors to Aden, al-Yamani said that this visit is meant to explore efforts undertaken by the legitimate Yemeni government.

The EU mission and a group of ambassadors will meet with the government in the interim capital of Aden.

Al-Yamani said that the visit restores clarity to confusion previously induced by understating positive efforts exerted by the Yemeni government.

The hard labors of the Yemeni government, according to al-Yamani, cannot be overlooked, especially as it first and foremost has the service of Yemenis at heart.

The Yemeni government works around the clock to strengthen the financial and administrative institutions to ensure that workers in all sectors of the country are paid, the diplomat said.

Backed by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition, al-Yamani said that the government is keen on restoring life in Yemen.

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