As part of efforts to end Yemen’s long-standing conflict, Saudi Arabia has released 13 Houthi prisoners ahead of a wider prisoner release agreed upon by both sides. Oman officials are also involved in negotiations.
The conflict is widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.The prisoner release comes as delegations from Oman and Saudi arrived in Yemeni capital Sanaa to hold talks with the head of Yemen’s Houthi Supreme Political Council, Houthi-run news agency Saba said on Sunday.
Houthi chief negotiator Mohammed Abdul Salam, who is based in Muscat, said on Twitter on Saturday that he had arrived in Sanaa with an Omani delegation.
Oman has for years hosted talks between the Iranian-backed Houthis and Saudi Arabia.
These negotiations – which run in parallel to the UN peace efforts – have gained momentum in recent weeks after Saudi Arabia reached an agreement with Iran to restore their diplomatic ties after a seven-year rift.
The Iran-Saudi deal, announced in Beijing on March 10, has invigorated hopes of a settlement to Yemen’s conflict.