Sana’a Forum calls for instant stop of Israeli aggression against Gaza [Archives:2009/1221/Local News]

January 1 2009

By: Mahmoud Assamie
SANA'A, Dec. 31-The Sixth Sana'a Forum for economic, security, political, and cultural cooperation concluded in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum on Tuesday.

The final statement of the Forum underlined the leaders' keenness on establishing security and stability in the African Horn and calming down conflicts in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti through diplomatic channels. It also enjoined the international community to undertake the responsibility of halting the International Criminal Court move against the Sudanese president.

The Forum leaders, President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, Prime Minister of Ethiopia Meles Zinawi, and acting Somali Prime Minister Dr. Nour Hassan Hussein, further called on the United Nations Security Council to adopt the required measures for putting an end to violence against civilians in Gaza and to resolve the Arab-Israeli struggle. They also called on the UN Security Council to oblige Israel to carry out related international legislations.

“Only the United Sates can stop the barbaric and brutal aggression,” said Saleh in the opening speech of the Summit. He added that the United States can force Israel and convince the Security Council to take instant decision making steps to stop Israeli aggression against Gaza.

Al-Bashir expressed his extreme anxiety towards war crimes and the barbaric destruction that Israeli troops have been committing against Gaza citizens. “Sorrowfully, these crimes are committed before the international community because of the shameful collusion of the world's super power, the United States of America, and Israel. America was not even ashamed to justify this aggression and worked on frustrating any effort made by the UN Security Council for denouncing and stopping these Israeli actions against Gaza.” The Sudanese president added that this gives the Zionist entity the green light to continue its genocide. He affirmed that the United Nation has become a supporter of this oppressive force which moves it according its desires and interests.

The leaders confirmed their complete commitment toward realizing peace and sustainable development in the Horn of Africa, the South of the Red Sea, and solving differences by peaceful means. Acting Somali Prime Minister Dr. Nour Hassan Hussein pleaded to Sana'a Forum to provide money and logistical support for Somali forces to create stability, especially since Ethiopia decided to withdraw its forces.

The leaders also affirmed enhancing and improving cooperation between the Forum members in all fields. They also called for improving and enhancing trade activities between their countries and speeding up establishing free trade zones.

They also decided on forming a joint task force comprised from various countries in the region in order to face piracy on Somali coasts and the Gulf of Aden. The task force will be under the supervision of the Arab League and the African Union and was made not just to combat piracy but also to avoid any exterior interference concerning the issue.

They welcomed the efforts of the International Marine Organization that recently established the regional center in Yemen for exchanging information on piracy and armed robbery against ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden area in Yemen.

The communique stressed the importance of coordinating efforts of the United Nation, the Arab League, and international partners and donors to reconstruct Somalia as soon as possible. It also approved an inclusive program for rebuilding Somali institutions and organizing returning refugees to their homeland.

Concerning Sudan, the leaders expressed their appreciation for efforts towards implementing a peace agreement in the east of Sudan and the Darfur area, and praised positive developments of relations between Sudan and Chad. This praise came in addition to expressing anxiety concerning the prosecution of the International Criminal Court against Sudan and the negative effects of these activities on Arab and African efforts for realizing peace in Darfur.

Sana'a Forum summits are held every year in one member country. The previous summit was held last December 2007 in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.

The Forum was established in Sana'a on May 2002 for forming a triple coalition that included Yemen, Sudan, and Ethiopia. The three leaders of the Forum signed the treaty of establishing the Forum on December 30, 2003 in Addis Ababa. Somalia has been added recently to the coalition and there are plans for including Djibouti.

The aims of the Forum are improving cooperation between the member countries for realizing peace, protecting the Horn African region, improving the economy, and settling differences between these countries.