Foreign Minister to YT: “Yemen Has no Interests in Somalia Except to See Peace” [Archives:2001/16/Front Page]

April 16 2001

Concerning the unsolved problem in Somalia, Dr. Qirbi said that Yemen has no interests in Somalia except to see peace and stability in that country. He added that Yemen will never hesitate to extend help to the Somali people and bring the various conflicting groups together to sort out their problems through dialogue. This comes in spite of the recent statements by Mr. Hussein Aided, in which he accused Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Egypt of trying to interfere in the internal affairs of Somalia. 
He said that the suicide bombing of the USS Cole did not affect Yemeni-US relations. Rather, it has strengthened them as the Americans have come to realize that Yemen is exercising stiff measures against terrorism within the country. Also, that Yemeni-US cooperation to counter terrorism is now at its best. ” Yemen has always tried to coordinate efforts with Arab countries and international agencies to curb terrorism,” he stressed. However, he criticized the American administration’s stand towards the ongoing conflict in the Palestinian territories. He said the Americans should not shy away from the conflict, as it is not in their interest to just watch. In fact, the explosion of the situation will damage the American interests most. He also denied any secret contacts between Yemen and Israel and termed such statements as” but figments of imagination.” 
Mr. Qirbi confirmed that Yemeni diplomacy will continue taking initiatives at the regional level, as President Saleh’s intention is to ensure the stability of the region and to see that all conflicts are sorted out. However, he said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its initiatives will be directed towards Yemen and its development, focusing more on investments. He further said that Yemen is fairly qualified to enter into joint ventures and partnership with all countries.