EMBARRASSMENT! [Archives:2001/49/Front Page]

December 3 2001

In an unprecedented move, President Saleh said on Saturday that Yemen was embarrassed because of the continuing kidnapping incidents of foreigners in Yemen. In reference to the latest kidnapping incident of a German citizen in Sanaa, President Saleh said, Those kidnappers shouldnt think that what they did offended me personally, but it offended all Yemenis.
Saleh also added during his inspection visit to Hodeidah that the latest kidnapping incident, which took place while he was on an overseas tour, had affected Yemen negatively, adding that the government will not let the perpetrators go unpunished.
On the other hand, the Yemeni and US sides indefinitely postponed the signing of the security and economic cooperation agreement within the framework of the global war against terrorism, previously scheduled to be signed last Wednesday in Washington. President Saleh recently paid a two-day visit to the United States, followed by a European tour that included France and Germany.
Saleh said after his meeting with President Bush at the White House, that the disagreements between the two sides led to the indefinite delay of the signing of the agreement. However, President Saleh noted that this agreement includes provisions pertaining to fighting terrorism, as well as intelligence and economic cooperation.
The same sources considered the US Ambassador in Sana’a as the main person responsible for delaying the signing of the agreement, adding that the stipulations of the agreement are not sufficient for achieving the desired cooperation aspired by the two sides, particularly with regard to the war against terror. As Washington is keen to use the port of Aden when necessary, without any complications, it requested the enclosing of an article in this respect, a source told the Yemen Times.
The White House spokesman declared last Tuesday that Yemen has become a partner with the United States in its war against terrorism, adding that President George Bush is satisfied with the level of cooperation offered by Yemen’s government in this war. The spokesman further highlighted Yemen’s approval to delay the trial of the suspects presumed to have links with the USS Cole incident in compliance with the United States’ request.
The draft security cooperation agreement includes the training of anti-terrorism units by the USA and the coordination of efforts between the two countries to track down terrorists groups if found on Yemeni territories. The agreement also focuses on building a high administrative level for the Political Security Police and creating new departments at the Criminal Investigation Police for the same purpose.
President Saleh during his visit to Paris also stressed the right of the Palestinian people to establish an independent state and Yemen’s refusal to extend the war zone outside Afghanistan.