LONDON: A round of Yemeni prisoner exchange talks ended on Sunday with no agreement reached between warring parties, said UN envoy Martin Griffiths.
“Although the parties did not agree to releases during this round of talks, they committed to keep discussing the parameters of a future expanded release operation,” Griffiths said.
During the talks, held in the Jordanian capital, Amman, they discussed strategies and possibilities to fulfill their commitments under the Stockholm Agreement.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the Iran-backed Houthi militia agreed to the UN-brokered agreement back in December 2018, which included the release of thousands of prisoners and detainees, in addition to a cease-fire in the strategic port city of Hodeidah and setting up humanitarian corridors.
The 5th meeting of the Prisoners Exchange Agreement's Supervisory Committee concluded today.— @OSE_Yemen (@OSE_Yemen) February 21, 2021
Although the parties didn't agree to releases during this round of talks, they committed to keep discussing the parameters of a future expanded release operation:https://t.co/o3vvM978e2
The Supervisory Committee on the Implementation of the Prisoners and Detainees Exchange Agreement resumed their fifth meeting in Jordan last month with the aim of releasing 300 prisoners on both sides.
“I am disappointed that this round of talks did not amount to what we saw in Switzerland last September which resulted in the historic release of 1,056 detainees” Griffiths said.
He also urged the parties to “continue their discussions and consultations, conclude the implementation of what they agreed to and expand the arrangements to release more detainees soon.”
In January, Griffiths had called on the parties to immediately free all vulnerable detainees, and arbitrarily detained civilians.
“I reiterate my call for the unconditional release of all sick, wounded, elderly and children detainees as well as detained civilians, including women and journalists,” he said on Sunday.
Yemen was plunged into civil war when the Iran-backed Houthi militia seized control of Sanaa from the internationally recognized government in late 2014.