Yemen’s Foreign Minister Hisham Sharaf Abdullah said the success of the first phase of the prisoner exchange deal is a humanitarian step and an indicator of progress towards peace.
Minister Sharaf said the move “represents a glimmer of hope at a time when the Saudi-UAE coalition of aggression is tightening the economic blockade on Yemeni citizens in all provinces, including the occupied provinces.”
He praised the efforts of the National Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs and the flexibility it had shown to complete the process despite the obstacles that the other party had tried to put in place.
He praised the role of the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy to Yemen and the International Committee of the Red Cross in supporting the implementation of the prisoner exchange deal.
The Foreign Minister stressed that the success of the prisoner exchange deal at this stage proved to the international community the validity of the position of the Supreme Political Council and the Salvation Government.
He called for an end to the aggression and the lifting of the blockade, as a beginning to any political settlement step, and to address the repercussions of the worst humanitarian disaster in modern times.
He stressed the need for immediate intervention by all Yemeni parties in the conflict, to create a real atmosphere of peace, removed from the bids of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, through pressure and basic humanitarian measures and steps, first and foremost allowing the entry of ships loaded with oil derivatives and domestic gas, the payment of salaries of all state employees without discrimination, and the reopening of Sana’a airport to civilian flights.
Minister Sharaf said the exchange of prisoners showed the readiness of Sana’a International Airport and the professionalism of its personnel to receive all types of aircraft, primarily government carrier aircraft of the Republic of Yemen.
The Foreign Minister concluded his statement by calling on the Saudi-led coalition countries to stop their military aggression and lift their blockade on Yemen in order to engage in a direct negotiation process with the National Salvation Government that could end the spiral of violence in the region and establish neighborly relations based on mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs. This would also enhance the security and safety of the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in the southern Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait.