Saudi Arabia submitted to Yemen’s demands to evacuate 50 wounded Ansarullah fighters to Oman for treatment ahead of new UN-brokered peace talks.
A UN-chartered plane will arrive at Sana’a airport Monday to evacuate the wounded revolutionaries accompanied by three Yemeni doctors and a UN doctor, Saudi military spokesman Turki al-Maliki said.
The evacuation of the wounded fighters has been a key condition of the Ansarullah movement to attend peace talks in Sweden this week.
Previous peace negotiations broke down in September after Saudi Arabia refused to allow an Ansarullah delegation to fly to Geneva to attend the meeting.
On Monday, Maliki said the kingdom had agreed to a UN request to facilitate the medical evacuation “for humanitarian considerations and as part of confidence-building measures” ahead of the talks.
Saudi Arabia has been leading a ferocious military campaign against Yemen since 2015 without any tangible achievement. The kingdom’s latest push to seize Hudaydah ahead of peace talks hit a brick wall as the strategic port’s protectors put up a fierce resistance.
The Ansarullah movement and the UN were not immediately available to comment on the Saudi military announcement.
Yemeni protesters slammed Saudi Arabia for its purported refusal to allow an Ansarullah delegation to attend the Geneva peace talks.
The negotiations were expected to take place this week, but UN chief Antonio Guterres played down the early December schedule and said he hoped talks would start “this year.”