Yemen to US assistant Secretary of State Don’t attack Iraq [Archives:2002/44/Front Page]

October 28 2002

ADEN – A visit by US envoy to the Middle East, Assistant Secretary of State William Burns, has not changed Yemen’s stance towards a potential American strike against Iraq.
In a press conference held in Aden on Saturday, Burns reconfirmed US intentions to push for a strong US resolution that would allow the US to strike Iraq if it doesn’t comply with the resolution without going back to the Security Council.
Government officials and members of the US envoy confirmed that the main focus of talks is not Iraq. It is rather on the peace plan by the so-called Quartet – the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.
That in turn is hoped to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
However, analysts believe that bringing in the Palestinian crisis at this time will only attract support of the Arab world for a US-presented resolution concerning Iraq.
Expecting full backing from Yemen for the peace plan would be more improbable, especially as it has not been accepted fully by the Palestinian Authority.
The US resolution draft presented to the Security Council concerning Iraq was also at the center of discussions, and it which did not result in Yemen’s support for the resolution.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi said during the conference that Yemen cannot and will not accept the idea of changing regimes by force.
“The UN and USA should allow the return of the UN weapon inspectors. What is proposed of changing the Iraqi regime by force is simply illogical because it contradicts international law. Super powerful countries should not change the regime of another country because it harms national sovereignty,” he said.
The government of Yemen has reconfirmed its resistance to any possible pressure to accept or vote for the new resolution proposal presented to the Security Council by the USA.
In a move thought by analysts to decrease tension between the two countries over Iraq, Burns said Yemeni and American views are identical concerning the need to end the Middle East conflict and have a Palestinian sovereign state.
However, no comments were made concerning Yemen’s strong opposition to the latest step by the American Congress to approve recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Both sides agreed on Yemen’s cooperation and aid to the US in its war against terror, including US assistance for Yemen in terms of enhancing the Yemeni investigation capabilities and coastline patrol forces.