15th session of Yemeni-Saudi Coordination Council in SanaaSecurity tops agenda [Archives:2003/648/Front Page]
Mohammed bin Sallam
SANA'A, June 6 – The Yemeni Prime Minister, Dr. Abdulqader Bajammal received on June 5 Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi defense minister, the second deputy premier who is leading a 17-minister delegation on a several-day visit to Yemen.
Prince Sultan Bin Abdulaziz is leading the Saudi side to meetings of the 15th session of the Yemeni-Saudi Coordination Council (YSCC) meetings that started in Sana'a Saturday. Meetings of the YSCC have discussed 16 agreements dealing with trade exchange, development of exports, joint investment, as well as agreements on technical education and vocational training, an agreement on tourist cooperation and many others.
On the top of the agenda was the issue of security and joint efforts in the fight against terrorism.
Bajammal said that the question of terrorism is on the rise to the extent that it started to threaten the security of the people and countries. He also condemned all terrorist acts that hit Yemen and KSA.
On his part, prince Sultan emphasized the need for security cooperation between the two countries.
He pointed out that the rise of terrorism threats makes it necessary that the two sides enhance their security cooperation.
The Yemeni side to the YSCC meetings had listed the demand of raising the volume of Yemeni labor in the Saudi market and to give it preference in calling it and in granting and duration of visa to Yemeni labor.
Yemeni government official sources said that part of the working program of this session would be discussing the formation of a preparatory committee for organizing work of the committees formed by the Council, in addition to signing agreements in diplomatic, tourist, information and trade fields. Coinciding with the session's meetings foundation stones for projects funded by the Saudi Fund of Development would be laid.
Security tops agenda
Saudi official information media published last Tuesday interviews with some Yemeni citizens who were working in Saudi Arabia and returned home after the Gulf war in 1991. The Saudi media mentioned that most of the interviewed Yemeni citizens had stayed for a long time in the Kingdom and that their interests were badly affected after their return to their country due to unequal job opportunities between their country and the Kingdom that offered them due care. Some of those Yemenis haven't succeeded to get acclimated to the new situation and some of them got bankrupt due to their inability to practice activity with the same atmosphere they used to live in Saudi Arabia.
The Yemen-Saudi Coordination Council was established in 1976 by the two countries with the aim of organizing and coordinating the fields of cooperation and evaluation of projects implementation through its annual meetings held in rotation in both countries over the period 1976-1989.
The tasks of Yemeni-Saudi Coordination Council had been suspended in 1990, the year Iraqi former regime invaded Kuwait. Consequences and complications that accompanied those events had affected Yemen's relations with some Gulf states, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The Council was then revitalized following the signing of a memorandum of understanding by the two brotherly countries at the end of February 1995. The understanding memorandum resulted in forming a joint ministerial commission for developing economic, trade and investment relations between the two counties and led to the signing of an agreement on economic, trade and technical cooperation at the first session of the joint ministerial commission in 1998, endorsed by the Yemeni government in April 2000. That agreement had paved the way for concluding the Jeddah international border treaty on 12 June 2000.
The first session of the Yemen-Saudi Coordination Council started in December 2000. During the latest three sessions Yemen had received brotherly assistance especially the conclusion of a number of agreements and programs, mainly rescheduling Yemen's debts due to Saudi Arabia for periods extending to more than 30 years. Saudi Arabia has also granted Yemen $300 million in easy loans. Since the signing of the Jeddah border treaty, the Yemeni-Saudi relations has witnessed an ever-increasing considerable developments in different fields including economy and trade.
The security coordination has been recently reactivated by the sisterly countries specifically during the recent terror attacks in some of the Saudi cities last month.