Yemen peace talks are about to get under way in Sweden, and already both sides have managed to reach a major prisoner swap deal with one another. According to reports, between 2,500 and 3,500 prisoners will be released at the conclusion of the Stockholm talks.
Diplomats are calling this a positive confidence-building measure, and that’s putting it mildly. Both sides had said a prisoner swap was something they were hoping to get out of the talks going in, and it seems they’ve already accomplished that before the talks got under way.
Exactly who is being released isn’t entirely clear as of yet, though there is already speculation that the pro-Saudi side could get back some very high-value detainees, including Defense Minister Mahmoud al-Subaihi, and President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s brother, Gen. Nasser Mansour Hadi, who were captured very early in the war.
With prisoner swaps already settled, the next priorities for both sides are humanitarian aid agreements, and even more ambitiously trying to lay the groundwork for a process to settle the war outright and advance toward a new constitution and free elections.