Bajammal: “Yemen is Being Pressured to Establish Relations with Israel” [Archives:2000/07/Front Page]

February 14 2000

The London-based newspaper ”Middle East ” reported in its issue on Friday 11 February, 2000 that the Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdul Qader Bajammal said that Yemen was coming under pressure by the United States of America and some Arab parties to establish diplomatic relations with Israel.
On another note, in a press interview, while visiting Tunisia Bajammal also said that there are many international and Arab parties that are not in favor of convening an Arab Summit Conference although the situation was getting serious in the wake of problems with issues of common interest to all the Arab countries and their future. With regards to the fragile border situation with the Saudis, the Foreign Minister stated that some progress has been achieved in the border negotiations between Saudi Arabia and Yemen, however he clarified that the Saudis do not respond to what Yemen is aiming for, which is to to iron out the dispute on the borders which has a negative impact on strengthening relations between the two fraternal states. Mr Bajammal expressed his hope that the negotiations could arrive to the same fruitful results that were reached in the agreements with the Sultanate of Oman, which settled the border issues between the two countries in a friendly way ”that opened the gates for fruitful economic cooperation between Sana’a and Muscat.”
Bajammal also added that Yemen has also managed to reach a solution with Eritrea, despite its forced occupation of the Huneish Islands after the dispute over the islands was referred to international arbitration. He expressed his hope that an amicable settlement with Saudi Arabia can be reached without resorting to arbitration, as outlined in the Taif agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding previously signed by both parties. He said his country does not want to reach of going international arbitration out of Yemen’s keenness on maintaining cordial relations relations and the hope for future mutual cooperation. Mr Ba Jamal went on saying: “Arbitration would be an inevitable option when the two parties, or one of them, announce that dialogue has reached a deadlock and there was nothing to be added by further negotiations, which Yemen would like to continue with a time ceiling. Yemen wants a suitable time ceiling to be agreed to by Saudi Arabia.”

In response to a question whether Yemen was still desiring to join the Gulf Cooperation Council, Bajammal said his country was fully ready to join any council of cooperation in the world, however Uemen is opting for a form that is bigger than the GCC, i.e. an Arabian Peninsula grouping, that would involve Iraq and Jordan as well. He clariffied that when he talks about Iraq, he does not mean it as a regime, but he speaks about the Iraq that would have overcome the circumstances it is passing through, afterwhich it can join such a proposed grouping accordingly.