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OffbeatYemen peace talks start in Sweden with prisoner swap deal

15:41  06 december  2018
15:41  06 december  2018 Source:   msn.com

Yemen rebels say hope to attend UN-brokered peace talks

Yemen rebels say hope to attend UN-brokered peace talks A top Yemen rebel leader said Thursday the Huthis will attend UN-brokered peace talks next week in Sweden if guarantees to ensure they can leave home and return back are maintained. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "I think that the national (Huthi) delegation will be in Sweden God willing on December 3 if guarantees remain to ensure they can depart and return," said Mohammed Ali al-Huthi on Twitter.

UN says the warring sides in Yemen are close to a prisoner swap deal as a confidence-building measure ahead of upcoming peace talks in Sweden . Griffiths said the UN intends to convene the Sweden talks very soon given the two sides’ “renewed commitment” to work on a political solution to

Yemen ’s recognised government and the Houthi rebels have agreed to a massive prisoner swap to boost UN efforts for a ceasefire deal , as a rebel delegation flew to Sweden for a fresh round of peace talks . The agreement was struck by UN envoy Martin Griffiths, who was in the rebel-held capital

Yemen peace talks start in Sweden with prisoner swap deal© The Associated Press An exterior view of Johannesberg Castle, in Rimbo, 50km north of Stockholm, Sweden, Tuesday Dec. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/David Keyton)

RIMBO, Sweden — Representatives from Yemen's warring sides sat in the same room for the first time in years on Thursday in Sweden as U.N.-sponsored peace talks aimed at halting a catastrophic three-year war opened to great hopes but also high skepticism.

In a positive sign, the U.N. envoy said the sides had agreed on a prisoner exchange as a first step toward building confidence.

Martin Griffiths also said the two sides have signaled they were serious about de-escalating the fighting through calls they've made in recent weeks, and urged them to work to further reduce the violence in the Arab world's poorest nation, scene of massive civilians suffering.

UN chief tempers hopes on Yemen as rebels back peace talks

UN chief tempers hopes on Yemen as rebels back peace talks UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday played down hopes for an imminent breakthrough on ending Yemen's brutal war, saying he hoped talks would start by the end of the year. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Huthi rebels, who have persisted in their fight despite an onslaught from neighboring Saudi Arabia, earlier Thursday said they were ready to take part in negotiations that the United Nations had earlier mooted for next week in Sweden.

A rebel delegation flew out of the Yemeni capital on Tuesday heading for high-stakes talks in Sweden with the government aimed at ending the country's devastating war. The departure of the Houthi rebels on a Kuwaiti plane followed a prisoner swap deal and the evacuation of 50 wounded rebels for

Yemen 's warring parties convene in Sweden on Thursday for U.N.-led peace talks for the The head of the Houthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, who is not part of the group’s Sweden team, warned in a Twitter post that if no deal is reached to re-open Sanaa airport the

The talks in the Swedish town of Rimbo, north of Stockholm, aim to setup "a framework for negotiations" on a future peace agreement, Griffiths said, calling the coming days were a milestone nonetheless and urging the parties "to work in good faith ... to deliver a message of peace."

"I'm also pleased to announce the signing of an agreement on the exchange of prisoners, detainees, the missing, the forcibly detained and individuals placed under house arrest," Griffiths said from the venue. "It will allow thousands of families to be reunited, and it is product of very effective, active work from both delegations."

The fighting in Yemen has generated the world's worst humanitarian crisis and claimed at least 10,000 lives, with experts estimating a much higher toll. The conflict pits the internationally recognized government, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition, against Shiite rebels, known as Houthis.

Expectations low as Yemen's warring parties meet for talks

Expectations low as Yemen's warring parties meet for talks Yemen's warring parties will meet in Sweden this week for another attempt at talks aimed at halting their catastrophic 3-year-old war, but there are few incentives for major compromises, and the best outcome might be to firm up a shaky de-escalation. 

Yemen peace talks to start Dec 6 in Sweden : UN. "The (UN special envoy) would like to announce the restart of the intra- Yemeni political process in Sweden on 6 December The government and Huthis on Tuesday agreed to a prisoner swap , to be overseen by the International Committee of the

A Yemeni rebel delegation arrived in Sweden on Tuesday, accompanied by a UN peace envoy, for high-stakes talks with the government aimed at ending the country's devastating war. The Huthi rebels arrived on a Kuwaiti plane from Sanaa following a prisoner swap deal and the evacuation of 50

During the three-year war, Saudi-led airstrikes have hit schools, hospitals and wedding parties, and the Houthis have fired long-range missiles into Saudi Arabia and targeted vessels in the Red Sea.

U.N. officials, however, have sought to downplay expectations from the talks, saying they don't expect rapid progress toward a political settlement but hope for at least minor steps that would help to address Yemen's worsening humanitarian crisis.

Yemeni voices from both sides continued to make some last-minute demands and accusatory finger-pointing, while minor fighting continued to some extent on the ground.

Griffiths said the talks would address several main points mentioned by both sides: prisoner exchange, the release of funds to the central bank to pay civil servants in rebel-controlled territory, a possible handover of the port city of Hodeida to the U.N., and the reopening of the blockaded airport in the capital, Sanaa, to aid deliveries.

Yemen Peace Talks Begin With Agreement to Free 5,000 Prisoners

Yemen Peace Talks Begin With Agreement to Free 5,000 Prisoners The deal between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition is the first of several confidence-building measures that will be required to end the conflict.

A Houthi delegation has arrived in Sweden for UN-sponsored Yemen peace talks , the first since 2016, as Western nations press Before boarding a Kuwaiti plane, one delegate praised him for delivering on confidence-building measures like the evacuation of wounded fighters and a prisoner swap deal .

A Yemeni rebel delegation arrived in Sweden on Tuesday, accompanied by a UN peace envoy, to attend crucial peace talks with Yemen 's government to end the country's ongoing war. The Houthi rebels arrived on a Kuwaiti plane from Sanaa following a prisoner swap deal and the evacuation of

"I believe that we can also here in the coming days find solutions on specific issues that will improve cooperation and reduce suffering," he said.

Both the internationally-recognized government, which is backed by a U.S.-sponsored and Saudi-led coalition, and the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels say they are striving for peace.

The Houthi delegation arrived in Stockholm late Tuesday, accompanied by Griffiths. The government delegation and the head of the rebel delegation travelled to Sweden on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the U.N. food agency said Thursday it is planning to rapidly scale up food distribution to help another 4 million people in Yemen over the next two months, more than a 50-percent increase in the number reached now — if access can be maintained in the poor, war-stricken country.

World Food Program's spokesman Herve Verhoosel said the "ambitious undertaking" finalizes plans in the works in recent months to reach 12 million people with food and nutritional supplements through January, from between 7-8 million now.

The target population includes some 3 million women and children who need special support to prevent malnutrition. Verhoosel said the rollout will require "safe, immediate and unimpeded access for food and other vital supplies."

Sweden's foreign minister who opened the talks, Margot Wallstrom, wished the Yemen adversaries strength to find "compromise and courage" as they embark on the difficult task ahead.

"Now it is up to you, the Yemini parties," she said. "You have the command of your future."

___

Rohan reported from Cairo. Associated Press writer Jamey Keaten in Geneva contributed to this report.

South Yemenis demand independence vote at UN talks.
A small group of southern Yemenis staged a protest outside the venue of UN peace talks in Sweden on Wednesday demanding a referendum to restore independence. Waving the flag of former south Yemen -- featuring a bright blue triangle with a red star -- some 30 southerners called for freedom under the watchful eye of Swedish police. Southern Yemen was an independent country until the 1990 unification under president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a northerner who ruled for more than three decades and was killed by his rebel allies in 2017.

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