As Yemen and Saudi Arabia reach their historic border treaty TREATY TO BE PRESENTED FOR DISCUSSION TOMORROW [Archives:2000/25/Front Page]

June 19 2000

Tomorrow, the historic land and marine border treaty between Yemen and Saudi Arabia will be presented for discussion before the government. After approval, it will on Wednesday be passed on to the parliament for final approval. The historic treaty was signed by Yemen and Saudi Arabia to end a 66-year border dispute. Only after it is approved by the parliament will it be implemented.
According to analysts, that the treaty has indeed ended a long period of unrest between the two neighbors by providing a solution that is satisfactory in all ways to both nations.
The only disappointment that was evident during the last week was the strict measures implemented by both governments in terms of not providing the text of the treaty, and as said by some newspapers, “it violates the right to know articles of the human rights declaration.”
The Yemeni public, in general, was delighted by the signing of the treaty, which has given them hope for better economic circumstances as it is expected that economic cooperation will increase significantly.
The details of the treaty were not provided to the public until early Saturday in preparation for its submission to the parliament for legal and ultimate approval.
An informed source in Yemen has confirmed that according to the treaty signed by Yemen and Saudi Arabia last Monday, demarcating the two countries land and marine borders, Yemen has acquired more than 35 thousand square kilometers. The source has further said that a large portion of the area lies on the joint borders of the two countries and Oman and they are areas of promising quantities of oil.
Meanwhile, some information mentioned that Yemeni troops advanced a distance more 10 kms along the borderline of the two countries and pulled back a distance of 20 kms inside the Yemeni territories, as was stipulated in the borders treaty. Some sources mentioned that Saudi Arabia had promised Yemen to support its demand for joining the Gulf Cooperation Council and its attitude versus the opposition abroad.
On the other hand the Coordination Council that groups five Yemeni opposition parties has postponed announcing its stance about the treaty till after publication of its full text. The League of Yemen Sons( RAY) under leadership of Mr Abdulrahman Al-Jifri and Mawj Movement have announced their full support of the treaty. Saudi and Yemen’s official press praised the signing of the border pact between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
On his part , the Saudi interior minister prince Naif Ben Abdul Aziz emphasized, in a press conference in Jedda in June 17, that the relationship between Yemen and Saudi Arabia was stronger and bigger than borders. At the beginning of the conference Prince Naif shed light on the treaty of final and permanent international land and marine borders signed Monday June 12 , 2000 by Saudi foreign minister prince Saud Al-Faisal and his Yemeni counterpart Abdulqadir Bajammal.
Here are some of the most important points mentioned by the Saudi interior minister in his press conference. Prince Naif said there were some agreements signed by the two countries some years ago covering economic, trade, and cultural fields in addition to a security agreement. ”The full understanding of the higher interest of the two brotherly countries has produced this treaty and all border questions have been resolved in a satisfactory way for both countries, ” prince Naif said. He added that the most important thing was that the two parties had concluded an agreement and ”we should forget everything that could have delayed reaching this honorable result.”
In response to a question, the Saudi interior minister said treaties and agreements ” have certain legal and regular bases and must be referred to responsible authorities,” and this treaty would be referred to the Saudi Shoura Council and the Yemeni Parliament.
On whether the treaty has touched on any exceptions regarding labour the Saudi minister said ” This treaty, as was announced, is related to land and marine borders, and as for the question of labour it has nothing to with what has been reached. He then urged all companies, businessmen and establishments to sign contracts with Yemeni employees. He added that the treaty would open many spheres of cooperation between the two countries.
*The complete text of the treaty will be published in a series starting from next issue.