Yemeni Gov’t To Attend New Round Of Prisoner Exchange Talks With Houthi Rebels

Yemeni Gov’t To Attend New Round Of Prisoner Exchange Talks With Houthi Rebels

ADEN, Jun 15 (NNN-SABA) – The Yemeni government announced yesterday that, it agreed to attend a new round of UN-sponsored talks with the Houthi rebels, on exchange of prisoners, including individuals abducted by Houthis.

“The main objective of the upcoming talks” starting tomorrow, in Jordan’s capital, Amman, “would be to determine the fate of forcibly abducted individuals, such as the prominent politician, Mohammed Qahtan, as well as, other detainees,” Yahya Kazman, chief of the negotiation committee of the internationally-recognised Yemeni government, said, in a brief press statement.

Earlier this month, the Yemeni government had rejected participation in future prisoner exchange negotiations with the Houthi rebels, citing the rebels’ refusal to disclose the location of Qahtan and their denial of visitation rights to his family.

Qahtan, a prominent Yemeni politician of the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islah party, was abducted by the Houthis eight years ago, in the capital Sanaa.

The Houthis have remained unresponsive to repeated appeals from the United Nations, local and international human rights groups, as well as, the politician’s family for access to Qahtan, according to the government.

UN-sponsored negotiations between the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels in March, successfully led to the release of nearly 900 prisoners in Apr, marking the second largest prisoner exchange between the warring sides since a civil war broke out.

High-profile figures, including Nasser Mansour Hadi, the brother of former Yemeni President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and Mahmoud Al Subeihi, the country’s former defence minister, were among those who were freed.


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