There’s a lot of work left to do for the Yemen peace talks to be considered a success. At the same time, the prisoner swap that was one of the top priorities has been finalized on paper, and the process is currently underway.
Under this deal, several thousand detainees will be exchanged between the two combatant factions. This could see as many as 3,500 prisoners change hands over the course of the next few days. This is a big confidence builder.
More importantly, as both sides continue to remain far apart on other issues, the prisoner swap ensures that this round of talks won’t be a total failure. And while people are still hoping for a lot more, this is a good start.
Perhaps a telling aspect of where progress was made, UN officials say the prisoner exchange is the only issue so far where both sides agreed to meet face-to-face to work out specifics. Where they’ve so far refused to meet, they remain far apart.