The US has sought to delay the release of American captives [in Yemen], and President Donald Trump wanted to implement the deal for electoral reasons,” said Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a senior member in the Supreme Political Council of Yemen.
“The prisoner exchange deal misled the American voter and covered for the siege imposed on Yemen by Saudi-led aggression forces,” Mohammed al-Houthi told Al-Mayadeen TV Channel on Wednesday night.
He pointed out that “the Americans refuse to open embassies in Sana’a and are imposing a diplomatic blockade on us.”
Al-Houthi expressed dissatisfaction with the way the exchange of prisoners is processing.
“We offered a total and comprehensive exchange, but the forces of aggression refused,” he said, adding that “the aggression coalition forces demanded the release of criminals and terrorist elements (…) we still have Saudi prisoners as well as those of other nationalities, and we hope that the next exchange deal will include our Palestinian brothers.”
The Palestiniana referred to by Mohammed al-Houthi include members of Hamas and other Palestinian activists that have been jailed and are being kept in captivity by the Saudis.
“We offered an initiative to release Palestinian detainees in Saudi Arabia in exchange for the release of Saudis, and we submitted regulations,” al-Houthi explained, adding that “we were ready until the last minute, but we expected that the exchange deal would fail because the countries of aggression do not care about the prisoners’ families.”
He added that the countries of aggression rejected the initiatives of the United Nations and the proposals Yemen has submitted to complete peace in Yemen.
Al-Houthi concluded by saying: “we are ready to implement a comprehensive prisoner exchange, but there are those who are blocking that”, referring to the Saudi-led aggression forces and their tools.
Last Friday, the warring parties in the conflict conducted the largest prisoner swap of the war, under a deal signed in Switzerland last month.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Yemen confirmed that the exchange deal of prisoners and detainees was the largest of its kind and that it was carried out successfully in a deal between Sana’a and the Saudi-led coalition.