As the US Offers its Willingness to Resolve the Yemeni-Saudi Border Conflict CAN The DEADLOCK Be Broken? [Archives:2000/08/Front Page]

January 21 2000

In statements he made as he wrapped up a one day visit to Yemen, Mr Edward S. Walker, U.S. assistant secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs described the results of his visit as very profitable, He also said that the talks he had with President Ali Abdullah Saleh and other officials were very successful and that he will take the results of talks back and they will be taken very seriously as we develop our policies in the future. 
At a February 14 press conference in Sanaa  Mr Walker expressed appreciation of the democratic process in Yemen describing it as encouraging, while noting that There are always complications and difficulties. I think it exhibits a great deal of courage and strength that the Government of  Yemen is moving in this direction. 
Mr. Walker has also expressed pleasure over the continuation of economic growth and the economic reform process in Yemen, hoping that his country will be able to help in this process. 
In response to a question on the reason behind the slow flow of American assistance to Yemen, ambassador Walker said  We value very greatly the support Yemen has given us in the region, expressing hope that they will be successful this year in moving a resumption of the aid program through  the congress and be able to move forward with additional assistance in the future. Ambassador Walker added that there were additional funds available to help in the process of developing democracy. 
On the relations between Yemen and Saudi Arabia, Mr Walker expressed the hope that both countries would reach an agreement on their border issues and that America was in favor of that for many years. But this is something that will have to be decided by the two sides amongst themselves. he added. In reply to a question on the bilateral resolution between Yemen and Saudi Arabia regarding the border issue, Mr Walker said there are a number of mechanisms for solving this problem, there is bilateral negotiation and there is arbitration.  He added that it was up to the parties themselves to decide what is the best mechanism for them and the important thing was that the discussions should continue. 
On the pressures the Yemeni government is saying are being exerted on it to normalize relations with Israel, Mr Walker said there was no pressure on anyone to do anything that would be against their own interests or their own desires. He added that in the course of events it would be the natural thing for the countries in the region to normalize their relations over time and it would be a natural outgrowth of a successful peace process.