Qatar mediates fishing dispute [Archives:2002/41/Local News]

October 7 2002

The government of Qatar is exerting efforts to sort out the difference between Yemen and Eritrea regarding the explanation of the International Court Arbitration verdict on fishing off their waters.
The two countries have different interpretations of the verdict.
The Qatari minister paid a short visit to Eritrea last Friday before flying to Yemen. He met the Eritrean president and discussed with him several issues including the differences between Yemen and Eritrea.
Eritrean sources said the two officials discussed the Yemeni-Eritrean conflict relating to the fishing rights.
The Eritrean interpretation of the verdict is that Yemeni fishermen have no right of fishing in Eritrean waters.
Yemen believes the verdict gives the two sides the same rights and is ready to go back to the International Arbitration court to clarify the essence of the verdict.
It also is showing willingness to accept any third party to end the misinterpretation of the verdict.
The Eritrean president told the Qatari minister that he hopes Yemen will stop violating the Eritrean waters. Yemen has complained that its fishers were repeatedly arrested and disturbed by the Eritrean authorities.
Eritrea occupied the Hunaish Great Island in 1995. The two countries resorted to the international arbitration.
In 1998, the international court passed its verdict which ensured the Yemeni right to own the island.
Meanwhile, The Qatari Foreign Minister, met last Saturday with President Ali Abdullah Saleh. An official source said they discussed the bilateral relations, the ongoing events in the Palestinian territories, as well as the US threats to strike Iraq, but it’s unknown to what extent the fishing ruling was discussed.