Challenges Facing Yemen-US Relations Discussed [Archives:2001/45/Front Page]

November 5 2001

Organized by the al-Khaleej and al-Jazeerah Studies Center in association with the Yemen Times, a one-day seminar on the challenges of Yemen-US relations was kicked off last Wednesday under the auspices of Foreign Minister Dr. Abubakr al-Qirbi. In his speech, Dr. al-Qirbi said the Arab and Muslim countries support for the US-led war against terrorism may become less active if the US strikes continue to target innocent Afghan civilians. He also said the US administration should heed the reaction of Arabs and Muslims against the use of ‘smart’ weapons in Afghanistan. “We must look for alternatives to crack down on terrorism, bringing countries that harbor terrorists back to the fold of the international community. He urged all countries to take their responsibilities in framing a safer and more peaceful world, warning against the negative impacts of the war against terrorism on democracy and human rights lest we should go back to totalitarianism.
Al-Qirbi stressed the deep-rootedness of the Yemeni-US relationship, adding that it is based on transparency and understanding of each other’s interests.
He said the USA is keen in the role Yemen can play for the security and stability of the region owing to its strategic location. He pointed out that by having a good relationship with the USA, Yemen ensures good support from donor countries and the World Bank, in addition to being close to the US decision makers. Al-Qirbi stressed the importance of sorting out the Palestinian issue, which represents a key element to relieving the tension in the Mideast, leaving no justification for terrorists who misuse the Palestinian issue to carry out their barbaric acts. He said the USA along with Russia and the EU can exercise pressure on Israel to implement international resolutions.
On his part, US ambassador to Yemen, Edmund J. Hull stressed that “Without security we cannot have development and vice versa.” He said that the victims of the September 11 infamy were not merely Americans but also Yemenis, highlighting the negative impacts of the attacks on the world economy, including Yemen’s. He also stressed the importance of US aid to Yemen in the field of development.
Mr. Walid al-Saqqaf, Yemen Times Editor-in-chief and Ahmad Abdulghani GM of the al-Khaleej and al-Jazeerah Studies Center delivered speeches highlighting the importance of holding such a seminar.
The seminar discussed four research papers on the history of the Yemeni-US relationship, the regional dimension of this relation, what Yemen needs from US and vice versa, and the impact of the attacks on USA and Yemeni immigrants. These papers were highlighted by the participants in the seminar.

Mohammed Hatem al-Qadhi
Yemen Times