Houthi delegation in Saudi Arabia for talks amid 'ceasefire'

Houthi delegation in Saudi Arabia for talks amid 'ceasefire'
Yemeni Houthi sources told The New Arab that it has sent a delegation to Saudi Arabia following unconfirmed reports of a ceasefire in the border province of Yemen and Saudi.
2 min read
08 March, 2016
The Houthi delegation reportedly traveled to Saudi Arabia via the Alab border crossing [AFP]
Yemeni rebel groups the Houthis sent a delegationto Saudi Arabia on Monday, as a ceasefire was reportedly enacted in the north of the country.

High-level sources told The New Arab that the visit follows an unannounced agreement for truce in the border areas between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

Secrecy has surrounded the negotiations and this would be the first visit of its kind since Saudi Arabia militarily intervened against the Houthis in Yemen in March 2015.

The source, who asked not to be named, said a military delegation from the Shia-Zaydi group went to Saudi Arabia but did not disclose any further details.

A Houthi delegation has reportedly crossed into Saudi Arabia through the Alab crossing in Saada province, the Houthis' stronghold.

The group handed over a captive Saudi soldier when they entered the country. It is not clear whether this is part of a prisoner swap or a comprehensive ceasefire agreement between the two sides.

The border region between Saada and Saudi Arabia has been surprisingly calm in recent days. There have been no reports of air raids or shelling taking place and some analysts believe this is evidence of an accord.

If true, the visit by a Houthi delegation to Saudi Arabia would be an unprecedented development in the course of the 11-month conflict.

It also coincides with a visit to Saudi Arabia by UN Yemen envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.