EU gives Yemen 100 million euro [Archives:2005/885/Front Page]

October 13 2005

SANA'A- Oct.10- The British Ambassador Michael Gifford, representative of the European Union (EU) for the present period, held a discussion at the embassy premises on Yemen's relations with the EU.

The meeting focused on the political dialogue staged on the 21st of last September in Brussels. The British Ambassador described the dialogue between Yemen and the EU as good and mentioned that Yemen asked for more support, but that the dialogue was devoted to other issues.

“There are many Yemeni achievements, but they are offset by many challenges and the EU is extending its support for Yemen to confront different problems.” Mr. Gifford said. “The EU helps Yemen although not everything in Yemen may need help, but that fact is that all Yemenis accept assistance and are very cooperative.”

“The Europeans showed Yemen their interest for the coming presidential and local elections and stressed the importance of restricting arms trade, adopting serious measures for improving the financial management and combating corruption. The EU has shown concern over the killing of many Yemenis- civilians and troops- in Sa'ad events,” the British Ambassador went on.

“Yemen and the EU discuss the press freedom, what Yemen is doing now and how it will look in the future, as Europe has been very concerned by the recent treatment of Yemeni journalists. EU has shown points of concern over the situation of human rights, womens rights and the status of prisons.”

European officials confirmed that Yemen has shown total commitment to transforming toward democracy and freedom of the press and vowed to hunt for perpetrators who launch attacks against journalists and issuing an arm ban, according to the Mr. Gifford.

He added: “we told Yemen there is no need for the availability of 60 million arm pieces or 9 million since the country lacks economic reforms and is in urgent need to offer benefits for investors, a fact that cannot occur without the provision of security and safety measures for investors.”

He also pointed out that even Yemeni investors are in need of stability and that the most important challenges that face Yemen are the rapid population growth, lack of economic diversity and the inadequately qualified administration.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Gifford said, “Yemen is important to the EU that funded implementation of developmental projects with 100 million euro, emphasizing that the EU is concerned about the mishandle of money granted to Yemen, either by the Yemeni side or the European one. He asserted that that the European Commission investigate into current corruption cases filed to it on one of the EU-supported projects.

On the other hand, the British Ambassador to Yemen H.M. Michael Gifford paid a visit on Tuesday the 11th of October to the Islamic Relief Office (IRO) in Sana'a.

During his visit, Mr. Gifford had a look at a detailed report on the programs offered by the Islamic Relief Organization (IRO) in Yemen in the field of development.

For his part, Mr. Khalid Ahmad al-Mowallad, IRO Representative to the country explained to the British Diplomat the efforts expended in the governorate of Sa'ada, including a faster's break project in Sa'ada and projects on health and education in al-Silw, Taiz governorate.

In addition, the IRO launched projects for orphans care in Tehama, the Hodeida governorate, as well as other projects on health, education and early income for children of special needs in the Capital Secretariat.

Mr. Gifford had a glance at an applied study on the enhancement of international partnership between the Islamic charitable foundations and the international community and forwarding such an idea to the concerned organizations to have an effective partnership in humanitarian work.

The EU representative made specific reference to Yemen's critical role in the region and its importance as a leader and coordinator.