Saleh denies tense relations with Kuwait [Archives:2007/1017/Front Page]

January 18 2007

By: Yasser Al-Mayasi
SANA'A, Jan. 17 ) In a statement to United Arab Emirates' newspapers, Al-Bayaan and Emarat Al-Youm, President Ali Abdullah Saleh declared that Yemen enjoys good and distinctive relations with Gulf nations based on firm and brotherly ties and particularities that especially link state officials in their official and protocol relations.

He further assured that Yemen welcomes Gulf investments, which will enjoy all care, guarantees and facilities according to effective investment laws.

“We welcomed all of the proposals our brothers in the Gulf Cooperation Council set forth to admit Yemen. Likewise, we submitted our suggestions and asked them to follow the European Union's experience,” the president explained.

“If Yemen isn't qualified with a percentage of 45 or 50 percent, then our Gulf brothers can take our hand and provide the means to quality Yemen within a short time to become an active member of the Gulf family,” Saleh noted.

He added, “There's no tension in Yemeni-Kuwaiti relations. If some individuals spoke ill out of nervousness, we won't react in the same way. That's not the authority's view; rather, it's simply that of some individuals.”

Yemeni-Kuwaiti relations recently have become tense after several individuals as well as both official and private newspapers have abused Yemeni leaders and its people following Yemen's announced stance on the hanging of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. Previously, Yemen publicly called for not executing him and was the only nation to denounce his execution afterward.

Among Yemen's most outstanding critics is Kuwaiti Member of Parliament Muslim Al-Barak, who has disparaged Yemen harshly on numerous occasions. He further accuses President Saleh of encouraging Saddam Hussein to invade Kuwait again since “war was inevitable.”

Al-Barak also says Yemen was the only nation that was against Kuwait's liberation and calls President Saleh “al-shawish” (a low-ranking official or doorkeeper). He further alleges that Saleh conspired with Hussein to invade Kuwait in 1990 and refers to Saleh as the “Junior Saddam.”

Most Kuwaiti newspapers published such charges following Hussein's execution, whereas Yemen has announced that it won't reply to such accusations.