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US welcomes prisoner exchange deal in Yemen

WASHINGTON, May 16 (KUNA) -- The US on Monday said it welcomed news of a deal to release prisoners in Yemen ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, expected June 6th.
The Yemeni government and rebel factions have agreed to exchange half of all prisoners and detainees at the beginning of next month, UN Envoy Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed announced.
"We continue to believe that the success of the ongoing peace talks in Kuwait remain critical for achieving long-term peace, security and stability in Yemen, and the United States commends the parties for their engagement in these talks and for the important steps that they have already taken," State Department Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.
"These talks are a historic opportunity. We echo [Ahmed's] calls for all the parties to make the hard choices and compromise that will lead to a final agreement there in Yemen," he added. (end) ys.ibi