Yemen's Houthis Say Have Released Saudi Prisoner

'The Saudi prisoner was taken to his country on board a Red Cross plane,' Al-Masirah said, citing Abdulqadir Murtada, a Houthi official

Yemeni Houthis soldiers in northern district of Abs, Hajjah governorate, on July 18, 2018
AFP

Yemen's Houthi group said on Tuesday it has released a Saudi prisoner, according its TV channel, Al-Masirah.

He had been released on humanitarian grounds due to illness and was repatriated by Red Cross plane, Al-Masirah said, citing Abdulqadir Murtada, a Houthi official.

The United Nations special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths welcomed the release on Twitter, saying he hoped to see "more similar humanitarian gestures from the parties," and looked forward to implementation of a prisoner exchange agreement.

Yemen's warring parties are yet to agree full terms of a prisoner swap, one of the least contentious confidence-building measures U.N.-sponsored peace talks held in December's in Sweden amid Western pressure to end the conflict.

The United Nations is pushing for the exchange and a peace deal in the main port city of Hodeidah to pave the way for a second round of discussions to end a nearly four-year-old war that has killed tens of thousands of people.