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

16:15  06 december  2018
16:15  06 december  2018 Source:   nytimes.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.

Yemen 's warring parties are reported to have exchanged hundreds of prisoners , as UN-brokered talks aimed at ending the conflict in the country continue. The swap involved 360 members of the rebel Houthi movement and 265 civilians and pro-government fighters, officials told the Reuters news agency.

Yemen 's warring parties are reported to have exchanged hundreds of prisoners , as UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland continue. Image copyright EPA. Image caption A seven-day ceasefire began on Tuesday, but both sides accused each other of violations.

Yemen Peace Talks Begin With Agreement to Free 5,000 Prisoners© Naif Rahma/Reuters A three-year war has left much of Yemen in ruins, including the northwestern city of Saada; killed tens of thousands of civilians; and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

CAIRO — Yemen’s warring sides agreed on Thursday to exchange prisoners, starting peace consultations in Sweden that aim to end a conflict that has killed tens of thousands of civilians and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

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The United Nations envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, opened the talks, saying they represented a “critical opportunity” for Yemen. The prisoner exchange, said to involve at least 5,000 detainees, is the first of several confidence-building measures intended to draw the Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition that supports President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi into more substantive negotiations.

Deadly fighting erupts in Yemen's Hodeida

Deadly fighting erupts in Yemen's Hodeida Renewed violence in Yemen's vital port city of Hodeida has left 10 fighters dead, despite a UN push for peace talks, an official and medical sources told AFP on Saturday. An official with pro-government forces said fighting erupted in the east and south of the Red Sea city on Friday, while Huthi rebels on their television channel referred to an exchange of tank fire. Intermittent clashes continued on Saturday, Hodeida residents told AFP by phone. The violence follows a visit to the city last month by UN envoy Martin Griffiths to press for talks aimed at ending the war which has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

Yemen 's government and Houthi rebels on Tuesday reached an agreement to release half of the prisoners and detainees held by both sides, amid UN-brokered peace talks that began last month. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said a prisoner -swap deal was reached during peace talks [Corbis News].

A Yemeni rebel delegation prepares to fly on a Kuwaiti plane accompanied by a U.N. peace envoy, heading for talks in Sweden with the government Sweden’s foreign minister confirmed late Tuesday that the parties to the Yemen conflict have begun to arrive in Sweden for peace talks that are

Also on the table is a proposal to reopen the airport in the capital, Sana, which has been under a Saudi blockade since 2015 — one of several punishing measures that have fueled what the United Nations calls the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

But hopes for the talks, which are taking place in a renovated castle north of Stockholm, are fragile. Numerous efforts to forge a cease-fire have crumbled, mostly recently in September, when a Houthi delegation failed to turn up in Geneva. Analysts have warned that another failure could set off even more intense fighting.

This time, however, the negotiations are being driven by a greater sense of international urgency.

The United Nations has issued dire warnings of potential famine in Yemen. In the United States, outrage over the killing of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi has increased broad pressure on the Trump administration to end military support.

Yemen peace talks start in Sweden with prisoner swap deal

Yemen peace talks start in Sweden with prisoner swap deal U.N.-backed peace talks for Yemen have started in Sweden, bringing the Arab country's warring sides to the negotiating table in efforts to find a resolution to their devastating three-year war. 

Al Mukalla, Yemen : Warring parties in Yemen have agreed to release hundreds of prisoners as the Yemeni government and Houthi rebels sat down for peace talks in Switzerland aimed at ending the country's nine-month conflict. The prisoner swap, announced on Wednesday

“The talks aim to reach a comprehensive agreement , which will end the conflict and allow the More than 6, 000 people have been killed since a Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes last March in Yemeni people inspect the damage after an airstrike by Saudi-led coalition in Sana'a, Yemen , Saturday, Feb.

It will be a delicate process. Initially, the rival delegations in Sweden will have no direct contact. Diplomats will shuttle between them in an effort to build common ground. Mr. Griffiths, the United Nations envoy, has said that the talks can succeed only if both sides “suspend their belief in the possibility of a military victory.”

Whether that is possible remains highly uncertain.

In the weeks before the talks, the United Arab Emirates, a key Saudi ally, pushed forward with a fierce offensive to snatch the Red Sea port of Hudaydah from Houthi control. Now coalition forces nearly surround the city, which is crucial to international aid efforts.

The United Nations hopes to broker a deal that would place Hudaydah under international control, effectively removing it from the strategic chessboard of the war and allowing relief to flow unimpeded into the country. The United Nations has warned that as many as 14 million people, or half the population of Yemen, could soon be dependent on that aid.

As war keeps aid from millions in Yemen, U.S. "Mercy" reaches a few

As war keeps aid from millions in Yemen, U.S. American charity Mercy Corps is keeping hundreds of kids in school and providing some jobs, but peace talks in Sweden still seem very far away

Yemen peace talks in Sweden a 'vital first step' says Washington. Thousands of prisoners have been captured by both sides in the grinding war of attrition that has devastated Yemen at a cost of nearly 10, 000 lives since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015, according to World Health

Yemen peace talks in Sweden a 'vital first step' says Washington. Thousands of prisoners have been captured by both sides in the grinding war of attrition that has devastated Yemen at a cost of nearly 10, 000 lives since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015, according to World Health

Whether either side is willing to compromise on the status of the city is likely to be a major point of contention.

For now, both sides are concentrating on less-contentious issues. The Red Cross said it had deployed a team to Sweden to help with the logistical details of the prisoner release, which is expected to involve 5,000 to 8,000 detainees.

“There is, I would say, an agreement in principle,” Fabrizio Carboni, the organization’s regional director for the Middle East, told reporters. “Now the discussion is at the technical level.”

The talks are scheduled to last one week. At the opening ceremony, where rival camps sat opposite for the first time in two years, Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallstrom, wished them the strength to find “compromise and courage” in the days ahead.

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

UN chief says Yemen's warring sides agreed on Hodeida truce.
The United Nations secretary general on Thursday announced that Yemen's warring sides have agreed after week-long peace talks in Sweden to a province-wide cease-fire in Hodeida and a withdrawal of troops from the contested Red Sea port city. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Antonio Guterres thanked the Yemeni delegations for what he called "an important step" and "real progress toward future talks to end the conflict" and also said that the next round of talks is planned for the end of January.

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