The International Committee of the Red Cross on Wednesday airlifted seven Houthi prisoners released by Riyadh to Sana'a, the UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths stated, after the rebel group released a sick Saudi prisoner on Tuesday.
The UN envoy's office tweeted that Griffiths had welcomed the Saudi-led coalition's release of the Houthis, and that he was highly encouraged by the positive spirit demonstrated by both parties, hoping the move would give a push for rapid implementation of prisoner swap deal.
Saudi-led coalition backing official government in Yemen announced late Tuesday that they would release seven Houthi prisoners, after the rebel group released a sick Saudi prisoner earlier on Tuesday.
"As a result of joint efforts by coalition leadership and UN Envoy Griffiths," said Arab coalition spokesman, "Saudi prisoner Musa Oaji was released for his deteriorating health and for he did not receive required medical care at Houthi militia" captivity.
In return, coalition "agreed to release 7 detainees of Houthi elements," Colonel Turki al-Maliki added in press release.
He affirmed arrival of Musa in King Salman airbase in Riyadh.
Yemen has been racked by an armed conflict that broke out after the Iranian-backed Houthis had ousted the internationally recognized government late in 2014.
The conflict escalated after a Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in the country in March 2015 to reinstate the government of President Hadi, leading the country to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, with more than two thirds of the 28-million population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection.
Parties to the nearly 4-year war in Yemen, after 8 days of peace talks in Sweden, reached on the 13th of last December an agreement providing for prisoner swap, but the deal has been stumbled as warring parties trading blames for hindering.