Dr. Saqqaf Concludes One-Week [Archives:1997/44/Front Page]
Visit President Saleh’s Coming State Visit to China Seen as Catalyst for Stronger Bilateral Relations ý
“We are awaiting (Yemeni) President Ali Abdullah Saleh on his state visit to China with open arms,” Said Mr. Tian Zeng Pei, First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs. Speaking during his reception of Professor Abdulaziz Al-Saqqaf, member of the Consultative Council and Chief Editor of the Yemen Times who is due back at the end of a weeklong official visit to China, the Chinese official said that a number of tangible actions will result from the visit. He also indicated that relations between the two countries, established on September 24th, 1956, are among China’s oldest. Professor Al-Saqqaf was also received in audience by Mr. Sun Fu Ling, Vice Chairman of the National People’s Political Consultative Committee, one of the top four bodies running the country. The senior Chinese official indicated that the Chinese leadership fully appreciates Yemen’s wisdom in resolving regional disputes through peaceful dialogue and negotiations, thus “blocking the possibility of any international meddling in this region”. He was referring to the peacefully concluded border agreement between Yemen and Oman, and the referral of the dispute with Eritrea over the Hunaish islands to international arbitration. Preparations for President Saleh’s visit are fully underway. In a statement to the Yemen Times, Dr. Saqqaf sid that tentative program calls for the Yemeni President to visit Beijing, Shanghai and Jian. Concrete cooperation agreements in health, construction, agriculture and water harnessing projects, specialized post-graduate exchange programs, and joint investments in various ventures are envisaged. Shanghai, which is twinned with Aden, also looks forwards to establishing a foothold in Aden as a forward assembly and distribution point for its products. President Saleh is expected to be accompanied by a large business delegation. Mr. Wu Si Ke, Director-General for the Middle East and North Africa, indicated that the Chinese leadership has given the green light to ahead and promote closer political understanding and economic cooperation with Yemen. “I am sure the presidential February visit will give a major boost to our bilateral relations,” he said.