Yemeni pro-government forces. Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: The Saudi-led coalition said on Sunday it views a Yemeni prisoner swap as a “positive agreement.”

Yemen’s warring sides agreed earlier on Sunday to exchange 1,081 detainees and prisoners during the first stage of talks in Switzerland.

The Arab coalition said the prisoner exchange agreement was “purely humanitarian,” and in line with the Stockholm Agreement.

It os almost two years since an agreement between the Yemeni government and the Iran-backed Al Houthi militia was signed in Sweden, with the aim of ending the brutal conflict that has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Spokesperson Colonel Turki Al Maliki said the Al Houthi militia will release 400 government prisoners while the Yemeni government will free 681 Houthi fighters, including on-the-ground deals for 20 prisoners.

Colonel Al Maliki said the coalition’s top priority is to recover the prisoners as soon as possible, adding that the agreement included the release of 15 Saudi soldiers and four Sudanese nationals.

He also said the Red Cross is expected to supervise the prisoner exchange process in Yemen.

Colonel Al Maliki called on the Al Houthi militia to not undermine the efforts of the UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths, saying there was a real desire to implement all the points of the Stockholm Agreement