Stronger Economic & Political Ties with the Far East [Archives:1998/08/Front Page]

February 23 1998

President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the accompanying delegation returned to Sanaa on Sunday, February 22 following a two-week visit to Malaysia, China, Indonesia, and the United Arab Emirates. Although the thrust of the visit was economic cooperation and business deals, the visits also strengthened the political good-will that exist between Yemen and those countries.
The Republic of Yemen signed some 24 agreements and contracts. “Some of these aim at providing a stronger and guaranteed framework by the government,” explained Mr. Ahmed Sofan, Minister of Industry and Chairman of the General Investment Authority. He was referring to the agreements that guarantee investments and repatriation, avoid double taxation, and coordinate the efforts of chambers of commerce. “But the majority of the agreements are actually contracts between private business interests in Yemen and those countries,” he added.
There was also a military arrangement according to which China and Indonesia supply Yemen with some of its spare parts and maintenance needs. “We have opened a window for our needs with those countries, especially China,” stated a senior military member of the delegation.
At the political level, Yemen pushed ahead with stronger cooperation and better understanding, specially regarding regional issues. There were extended talks on the Middle East peace process. “We have found that all sides agree that the peace talks are stalled because of the intransigent policies of the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu,” disclosed President Ali Abdullah Saleh.