Political crisis between Yemen and KSA flares up, al-Quds al-Arabi [Archives:2005/858/Front Page]

July 11 2005

Mohammed bin Sallam
SANA'A- The Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement that was circulated by Saba News Agency last denying all what has been published by the London-based “al-Quds al-Arabi” daily on signs of a new crisis between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

The statement said the Yemeni-Saudi relations is good and there is nothing to hamper their development.

In its last Monday's issue, al-Quds al-Arabi daily said: “signs of the political crisis between Riyadh and Sana'a mount strongly due to security problems, particularly those related to fighting terror and the Saudi support to the Yemeni opposition abroad.”

It added: “the crisis may be also attributed to the case of the Yemeni workforce in Saudi Arabia, and ties between the two bordering countries go on gradual deterioration and toward a political crisis.”

“The security problem took the diplomatic ties between Sana'a and Riyadh to a seemingly blocked path and that Cairo played the role of mediation between the two sides to settle the crisis, but all these efforts have gone in awry due to the insistence of each side on its position about a number of issues topped by security,” the newspaper commented.

“Yemen signed the final border demarcation treaty on June 12 2000 with its neighbor and offered many concessions in return for closing the border file. But regretfully, after five years, the government of Saudi Arabia did not offer anything and never kept its pledges and commitments to Sana'a, and the Yemeni capital believed that signing the treaty will improve links with the bordering country.”

It further added: “Yemen appeared to have been mistaken when it signed the treaty that came in the wrong time and the wrong place and that Sana'a dedicated all its efforts for the sake of enhancing ties with Riyadh despite all the local objections to signing the treaty.”

Despite the Yemeni and Saudi policies to silence rumors about the crisis, its smell comes out of both sides, particularly when Riyadh hailed the idea of arranging the financial situations of the former Yemeni Ambassador to Syria, Ahmad al-Hasani, after Britain rejected his bid for political asylum in its lands.

According to “al-Quds al-Arabi”, the Yemeni sources considered the step taken by Saudi Arabia a sort of resuming the finance and arrangement of situations of the Yemeni opposition elements abroad. The efforts of such opposition elements emerged with calls to coupe against the regime in Sana'a starting from Britain under several banners.

The prominent items of the border treaty signed between the two countries in Jeddah in 2000 included the commitment of Riyadh to halt the spiritual and material support for theYemeni opposition abroad, improving situations of the Yemeni workforce in Saudi Arabia and backing the Yemeni desire to joint the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Five years passed after the treaty without achieving anything in favor of Yemen while the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia obtained all it wanted, topped by the demarcation of borders with Yemen at the border points drawn by Riyadh.

“The two governments tend to calm down the nature of the exacerbating disputes between them and what is cited reflects the existence of a relations crisis that is expected to develop and call back the atmospheres of the cold war, which culminated before signing the border treaty at the beginning of the last decade,” the London-based Newspaper noted.

” The Yemeni government feels oppressed because Saudi Arabia does not abide by the accords reached as part of settling the border disputes allowing around one million Yemeni to work in Saudi Arabia after they were deported during the second Gulf war.”

Regarding the Yemeni-Saudi ties, al-Quds al-Arabi daily concluded: “if the news leaked by the Yemeni side is correct that Saudi Arabia supports the mounting Yemeni opposition, the relations between the two Arab countries will go from bad to worse and Saudi Arabia will be the big loser since its security situation is more fragile. If the Yemeni government does not have a hand in stopping all the operations of weapon trafficking to members of al-Qaeda Organization in Saudi Arabia, this will destroy the successful achievements scored by the Saudi security authorities over the last few months in besieging and contracting al-Qa'eda activities.

Additionally, Saudi Arabia experiences border crises with most of its neighbors such as the U.A.E., Qatar and Kuwait, its relations with Oman and Bahrain is not good, and its relations with Iraq are somehow mysterious, according to the London-based Newspaper.