The president of the Houthi-led government in Yemen, Mahdi Al-Mashat has stated yesterday that another round negotiations with Saudi Arabia will take place after Eid Al-Fitr next week, which marks the end of the Islamic month of Ramadan.
The head of the Supreme Political Council made the announcement during a meeting with senior state officials, according to the Yemen Press Agency. Mashat also spoke positively of last week’s historic Oman-brokered meeting with a visiting Saudi delegation in the capital Sanaa. It marked the first time throughout the eight-year conflict, that Saudi officials held direct talks with the de-facto government.
Mashat was quoted as saying: “It was agreed to hold a new round of talks after Eid Al-Fitr, given the nature of the issues that were discussed.” However, he warned that “if the aggression coalition, with America behind it, thinks of resuming military confrontations and obstructing peace steps, Yemen’s hand is the longest and strongest.”
On Friday, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said of the talks that they “included in-depth discussions on a number of issues related to the humanitarian situation, including the release of all prisoners as well as reaching a cease-fire and a comprehensive political solution in Yemen.”
That same day, both sides implemented a prisoner exchange deal, which saw the release of about 900 prisoners of war over a period of three days. The move was welcomed by UN Envoy to Yemen Hans Grundberg who said, “This release operation comes at a time of hope for Yemen as a reminder that constructive dialogue and mutual compromises are powerful tools capable of achieving great outcomes.”
The UN official hoped that the warring parties would “build on the success of this operation to fulfil the commitment they made to the Yemeni people” in talks in Sweden in 2018, “to release all conflict-related detainees and bring this suffering to an end.”