YEMENI-SAUDI BORDER DISPUTE OVER: A NEW PAGE WITH NEW HOPES [Archives:2000/25/Viewpoint]
June 11, 2000 has become a historic day for both Yemen and Saudi Arabia, as it has marked a milestone in their relations by signing the permanent land and marine border treaty between both countries.
Frankly speaking from an unbiased point of view, President Saleh’s stand in resolving border issues has become a major credit for him and for Yemen. It shows that border disputes can always be solved peacefully, just as has happened with all Yemen’s three neighbors, Eritrea, Oman, and Saudi Arabia.
As our largest and most influential neighbor, Saudi Arabia has by this step, shown a great intention to maintain an excellent and developing relationship with Yemen. No one can deny the truly strong and rooted relationship in blood and culture between the people of the two countries. As it is undeniable, it should also be the major factor behind our harmony and improving relationship for the future.
As for the Yemeni public, this treaty has given all Yemenis hope of better standards of living and freedom of movement between the two countries. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always acted as an elder brother helping in improving Yemen’s economy, offering jobs and investment opportunities.
The people want to go back to the glorious past, when Yemenis were considered more than brothers to Saudis. They want to go back to where they used to help a lot in possessing the jobs that now others do. Saudis have always trusted Yemenis more than any other Arabs, as they were the most honest, humble, and hard working of all.
Today, we have the hope of going back to those days. With determination and will, the two leaderships can start a new page, with increasing cooperation, and a stronger relationship. “Blood never turns to water” is a famous Egyptian proverb that indicates that no matter what happens, Saudis and Yemenis are brothers throughout history, and this must continue for the benefit of our children and the next generation. Let the old days come back again, and let the two brothers join hands once again with hope for a brighter future. By Walid Al-Saqqaf