British shadow cabinet minister in Yemen [Archives:2002/37/Front Page]

September 9 2002

Mr. Alan Duncan, Member of the British Parliament and Shadow Foreign Minister is currently on a few days visit to Yemen. Mr. Duncan on Saturday met with President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour, UK Embassy Staff, members of the Yemeni-British Society in Sanaa, and other intellectuals.
“This is my second visit to Yemen in three months, which indicates my admiration of your country.” Mr. Alan told Yemen Times.
On the purpose of his visit, Mr. Duncan said, “I have come to bring greater understanding between the United Kingdom and Yemen and discuss issues of common interest.”
During his Saturday morning meeting with President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Mr. Duncan exchanged ideas and opinions centering on mutual relations and major developments in the region. “I am quite impressed with the vision. I think that has done a lot of good for the Yemeni people.” Mr. Duncan said.
Concerning his opinion on the possible US attack against Iraq, Mr. Alan Duncan said, “I am quite sensitive of the possibility of a knockoff effect of the Arab world in case of a strike on Iraq.”Mr. Duncan expressed his concern over the Middle East crisis and other regional developments including the false image of the Arab and Islamic world conveyed in the West. “We must differentiate between countries and terrorists.
The evil act of a few terrorists does not mean that the whole Arab and Muslim worlds are to blame.” He said.
Mr. Duncan will be leaving the country tomorrow Tuesday September 10, 2002 and will be heading back for the UK where he will “help inform the British people on the truth about the Arab world.”
Mr. Duncan, who is also the Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Front bench spokesman, is among the most active opposition figures representing the Conservative party in the UK. His role in the Shadow Cabinet has been enhanced with his extensive and strong relations with the Arab world.
The shadow cabinet is the name given to the group of senior members from the chief opposition party who would form the cabinet if they were to come to power after a General Election. Each member of the shadow cabinet is allocated responsibility for `shadowing’ the work of one of the members of the real cabinet. The Party Leader assigns specific portfolios according to the ability, seniority and popularity of the shadow cabinet’s members.