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ADEN, Yemen - The delegations representing the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels, announced their readiness to implement a mass prisoner swap deal, agreed upon at the peace talks sponsored by the United Nations in Sweden.

Sources confirmed that the two-warring sides exchanged updated lists, containing names of thousands of prisoners and started preparations for implementing the deal.

Yemen's Foreign Minister, Khaled Yamani, who is leading the government's negotiating team, announced that, real progress was achieved in the issue of swapping the prisoners.

"We presented a list of 8,576 names of workers, political activists, youth, teachers, students, media, children, tribal figures, businessmen, jurists, women and doctors, arbitrarily detained and forcibly hidden in Houthi prisons," the foreign minister said.

The Yemeni minister mentioned no further details about the deal, but confirmed that the lists are open, endless and agreed to include any additions.

On the other side, the Houthis submitted a list that contained information about more than 7,500 of their prisoners, held by the Saudi-backed Yemeni government forces.

A government source said, some neighbouring countries, like Oman, will help in providing air planes to airlift detainees between the Houthi-controlled Sanaa and the government-controlled Sayun city.

The time of exchanging the prisoners was not specified but government source said, the handover operation will be implemented during the next weeks to come.

The UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said, progress was achieved in the consultations in Sweden.

Tangible agreements will be announced by the end of this round, the UN envoy said, adding that, early next year is the target date for the next round of consultations between the two warring sides.


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