Yemeni Ambassador to US Denies Recent Allegations [Archives:2001/14/Front Page]

April 2 2001

Yemen’s ambassador to the USA, Abdulwahhab Al-Hajri denied his attending a reception in honor of the Israeli Prime Minister, Sharon, in Washington last week. He described that could be an infringement of Yemen’s foreign policy, which refuses normalization with Israel, expressing surprise at being listed among participants in the party boycotted by all Arab ambassadors to the States. An official source accused Israel of this false propaganda in an attempt to tarnish the image of Yemen, and its stand vis-avis Palestinian cause.
The news resulted in a controversy between PGC and Islah as some Islah members in the Parliament summoned Abdulqader Ba-Jammal to answer the queries of the MPs. This agitated the head of PGC parliamentary bloc, Sultan Al-Barakani accusing Islah members of attending similar meetings with Israelis. He also said it was normal for the ambassador to attend such meetings. Barakani’s statement triggered resentment among politicians and people who considered what he said to be against the national and Islamic policies of Yemen and President Saleh.
Islah’s Al-Sahwa Weekly, said that public was surprised at Barakani’s statements. It also said that such statements needed a unified stance from all Yemeni people, including PGC to black list such people, favoring normalization. It further said Barakani’s words reflected the sense of irresponsibility of some PGC leaders and their ignorance regarding the foreign policy of Yemen.
Al-Thawri newspaper, YSP mouthpiece, confirmed that the ambassador attended the party and proved this with a translated copy of an article from a UPI correspondent. This controversy diverted the public opinion from the results of the elections and the problems arising from rigging them.