Fisheries problem tops Saleh, Afwerki talks [Archives:2004/797/Front Page]

December 9 2004

Eritrean President Isayas Afwerki is expected to visit Yemen this week, an official source said Saturday.
President Ali Abduulah Saleh and Afwerki are to discuss the problem of the traditional fishing in the territorial waters of the two countries after the International Arbitration Court passed its ruling on the Yemen-Eritrea conflict over the Hunish Island in favor of Yemen.
Yemen Times learnt from diplomatic sources that the visit is an attempt from Eritrea to break the isolation it is facing since the establishment of the Sana'a Gathering for Cooperation which includes Yemen, Sudan and Ethiopia.
This is the second visit for the Eritrean president to Yemen since the International Arbitration Court verdict was passed in 1998. President Ali Abdullah Saleh also paid a visit Eritrea in 2001. Saleh and Afwerki will discuss during the visit, which would last for few days, the problem of the Yemeni fishermen who are being arrested by Eritrean authorities, which claim that the Arbitration did not give them the right to fish in the Eritrean waters. It is expected that Afwerki will respond positively to the request of Saleh to release the arrested Yemeni fishermen, exempting them from the fines imposed on them.
Eritrea said that the Sana'a Gathering was an attempt from the three countries against it.
However, President Ali Abdllah Saleh called upon Eritrea last January to join the Sana'a Gathering for Cooperation. Saleh emphasized that Eritrea is welcomed to join the Gathering while meeting Ali Said Abdullah, Eritrean Foreign Minister January.