Mon, 28 Sep 2020 - 11:32 GMT
FILE - A handcuffed person inside a prison – Pxfuel
CAIRO – 29 September 2020: Egypt has welcomed a prisoner swap agreement signed on Sunday between the Yemeni government and the Iranian-aligned Houthis to immediately free 1,081 conflict-related prisoners, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The Foreign Ministry has expressed appreciation for the continuous efforts made by the United Nations special envoy for Yemen and the International Committee of the Red Cross to strike the deal.
The ministry called upon the parties involved to promptly implement of the prisoner swap deal in line with the provisions of the Stockholm Agreement, signed in December 2018 by the warring parties in Yemen, to support confidence-building measures and bring about a political settlement to the extended crisis in the conflict-torn country.
The deal was thrashed out at the conclusion of 10 days of UN-mediated talks in the Swiss city of Glion.
Egypt and Yemen have strong historical bonds; since Yemeni crisis erupted in 2011, Egypt, as a member of the Arab Coalition, has supported the legitimate government in Yemen and scores of refugees.
Egypt has long expressed its deep concern about the serious escalation of situation in Yemen leading to the execution of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh at the hands of Houthi militias.
Egypt supported Yemen’s GCC power transfer deal signed in 2011 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for former President Ali Abdullah Saleh handing over power to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
During the Arab Summit held in Sharm el-Sheikh in March 2015, Egypt backed the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm against Houthi fighters in Iran-backed Houthis, a move backing Yemeni legitimacy.
“Egypt has declared its political and military support, its participation with the coalition with an aerial and naval Egyptian force, as well as a ground force if necessary, in light of Egypt’s historic and unshakeable responsibility towards Arab and Gulf national security,” Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry told a meeting of Arab foreign ministers in Sharm el-Sheikh.
As a part of its participation in Operation Decisive Storm, the Egyptian naval forced Iranian warships to retreat from the Bab al Mandeb strait in March 2015.