Iranian Foreign Ministry has welcomed a recent agreement between Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and the Saudi-backed former government on the exchange of prisoners and detainees, asking the two sides to carry out the deal immediately.
In a statement on Tuesday, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said the Islamic Republic of Iran considers the prisoner swap deal between Ansarullah and the government of former president of Yemen Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi as a “step in helping the peaceful settlement of the current crisis in Yemen.”
“The deal indicated that Yemeni-Yemeni talks is the only solution to the existing problems in that country,” he added.
The Iranian spokesman also expressed hope that fruitfulness of the deal and the continued process of release of the remaining prisoners in Yemen would prepare the ground for Yemeni-Yemeni political talks resulting in a halt to the war and aggression against that country.
Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and the Saudi-backed former government have agreed to exchange more than 1,000 prisoners and detainees.
Saudi soldiers will reportedly be included in the exchange but no information was shared about the number.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the former regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi back to power.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 over the past four and a half years.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.