Al-Usboo [Archives:2004/769/Press Review]

September 2 2004

26 August 2004
Main headlines
– Issue of those accused of Limburg incident ended
– Smuggling Yemeni children become a public issue
– Social Fund for Development supports small enterprises
– Aden Gulf platform to be expanded
– Japanese grant for waters in the countryside

Columnist Ma'ath al-Ashaby says the most prominent remark in the progress of the relationship between Yemen and the GCC states is the insistence of the latter to have this course of relationship take a unilateral way. Yemen continues in launching initiatives while there is no response on the other side. At the beginning of August 2004, the Yemeni government announced unilaterally the abolishing of entry visa for the GCC citizens, proceeding from depth of the relationship and brotherly bonds between Yemen and the sisterly Gulf states. Some Yemeni government sources mentioned that the latest decision is similar to a one taken a few years before with a pre-arrangement and only came as a unilateral initiative and up to now it has not received any reaction from the Gulf states. The Yemeni government can present its initiative under justifications such as opening wide fields of cooperation with the GCC and give a new dynamism to activate the relations of cooperation with the GCC. Another reason it can be said it may give evidence on Yemen's adherence to the policy of good neighbourhood but the GCC countries that ignored the Yemeni initiative are far from changing their policy towards Yemen and there is no sign of their action in an initiative parallel to that of Yemen. The broad horizons of cooperation the GCC countries understand is that taking the form that provides for them customs and taxation exempts resulting from establishment of a free trade zone with Yemen. They realize that the decision is a political affair concerning the Yemeni authorities but its announcement should not be a surprise one from one side. It should be taken after discussing it by consulate committees composed of experts representing both sides and since such a discussion has not taken place they see it enough to just be heedless towards such an initiative.