British-Yemeni Society Delegation Challenges the official Warning of Travel to Yemen [Archives:2000/06/Front Page]

February 7 2000

A delegation from the British-Yemeni Society headed by Mr. Bill Hibert paid a visit to Yemen last week, notwithstanding the standing warning against travel to Yemen. The delegation included 14 tourists, some of who visited Yemen for the first time. During the visit, the delegation was received by Prime Minister Dr. Abdulkareem Al-Iryani, Mr. Abdulaziz Abdulghani Chairman of the Consultative Council.
Dr. Abdullah Abdulwali Nasher, Chairman of the Yemeni-British Society was among the first to receive and welcome the delegation.
Last Monday, the delegation came together with personalities from the media and had an informal discussion in which several issues were discussed. During the discussion, Mr. Bill confirmed to Yemen Times that the delegation’s aim of visiting Yemen was to give a clear evidence of its secure and peaceful environment, and to seek ways of further strengthening the relationship between Yemen and the United Kingdom.
When asked by the Yemen Times whether his delegation attempted to challenge the official warning to not travel to Yemen, he said “Yemen is a peaceful country with kind and hospitable people who tend to welcome visitors from all over the globe. We have come before, and we will come again, and our love to Yemen will continue.”
As a response to another question to Yemen Times regarding the obvious change since the first time he has visited Yemen, Mr. Bill mentioned that he was quite impressed of how the country have changed. He expressed his delight at the very low of armed men seen in streets compared to the last visit. He added, “the kindness and hospitality of the Yemeni people have not changed.”During the discussion, Dr. Mohamed Abdulmajeed Qubaty asked whether the UK businessmen and companies are losing from the warning it had issued regarding visits to Yemen, taking into account the economic potentials for investment, especially if we consider the British familiarity with the area. Mr. Bill replied positively by stating that indeed, there have been a lot of economic loss for the UK as well as Yemen because of the warning which limited the number of tourists coming from Commonwealth countries to a minimum level. He also told Yemen Times that he will try to support a move of cancelling this warning, and having tourist visits revived again.
Later on in the day, a lunch session on the honor of the delegation took place in which H.E. Mr. Vic Anderson, the UK Ambassador to Yemen, and other high-ranking officials and representatives from both the British-Yemeni Society and Yemeni-British Society were available.In his final words to Yemen Times, the delegation expressed its happiness to have visited Yemen, and willingness to come back again soon.
  About the British-Yemeni Society The British-Yemeni Society was inaugurated in February 1993. Its objectives are to promote friendship and understanding between the peoples of the two countries and to advance public knowledge in Britain about the Republic of Yemen, its history, geography, economy and culture.
The Society holds regular meetings and lectures and has been involved in sponsoring visits of Yemeni musicians to Britain, the recruitment of British teachers to work in Yemen, support for a medical clinic in Aden, a visit of Welsh musicians and craftsmen to Yemen, and support for publications and exhibitions.
It also provides a focus for contact between individuals of both countries for the development of cultural, commercial and humanitarian activities.
H.E. the Yemen Ambassador in London and H.E. the British Ambassador in Sana’a are Honorary Presidents.
The Society is a charity registered in the UK (No. 1027531) and its affairs are managed by an elected Committee and Honorary Officers.
Membership is open to all who have an interest in the Republic of Yemen. The program of activities includes six lecture meetings per year. Members also receive the Society’s annual Journal.