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Image used for illustrative purposes Image Credit: AFP

Cairo: A new round of UN-sponsored talks is expected to start later today in Jordan between the Yemeni government and Al Houthi rebels on a new exchange of prisoners of war.

Last year, both sides agreed on swapping over 1,000 prisoners during talks in Switzerland. In October, the Yemeni government and Al Houthis carried out the largest swap of prisoners since the Iran-aligned rebels toppled the internationally recognised authority in the country in 2014.

Saudi newspaper Asharq Al Awsat, citing 'well-informed sources', reported that all sides engaged in the new round of talks in the Jordanian capital Amman, are ready for the negotiating amid a 'positive atmosphere'.

“Al Houthis are ready for the round of consultations in Amman. The whole process is positive and this will reflect on confidence building between the parties,” a diplomatic source said, according to the paper.

The talks come a few weeks after a deadly blast at the Aden airport in south Yemen that the government blamed on Al Houthi militia.

The December 30 explosion, which killed at least 25 people, occurred as a plane carrying members of the newly formed government landed at the airport from Saudi Arabia.

Al Houthis plunged Yemen into a devastating conflict in late 2014 when they toppled the legitimate government and overran the capital Sana’a and other parts of the impoverished country.