YIDD Organizes Seminar on Yemeni-Eritrean Relations [Archives:1997/46/Law & Diplomacy]

November 17 1997

The Future of Yemeni-Eritrean Relations was the title of a seminar held in Sanaa from the 11th to the 13th of November by the Yemeni Institute for the Development of Democracy (YIDD), in cooperation with the Yemeni-Eritrean People’s Friendship Committee (YEPFC). It was attended by a large number of politicians, intellectuals, and representatives of the government, the political parties, and the local and foreign media. At the opening session, the seminar’s moderator, Mr. Abdulraheem Mohsin Yousuf, stated the reasons behind establishing the YEFPC. The objective according to Mr. Yoususf is to consolidate the friendly relations between Yemen and Eritrea. The president of the YIDD, Mr. Mohammed Al-Maytamy pointed to the historical geographical links between the two countries and peoples. He said, “conflicts are bound to occur within one family, but they can be solved through dialogue.” Al-Maytamy added, “the YIDD has organized this seminar to provide an opportunity for a positive and constructive dialogue between the brothers in Yemen and Eritrea.” The Yemeni government’s representative, Mr. Ahmed Al-Iryany of the Control and Audit Organization, explained the peaceful historical phases of the relations between the peoples of Yemen and Eritrea. “Positive dialogue has become the symbol of this new era of information technology,” he said, adding, “globalization has dictated that we can no longer live in isolation from the rest of the world and regional peace cannot be separated from global peace.” He went on by saying: “This seminar is one of the peaceful ways to deal with the issues concerning Yemen and its neighbors. The Yemeni government relies on the principle of peaceful dialogue in its foreign policy, especially in solving its disputes with neighboring countries. Mutual interests and benefits must be the guiding principles for all regional and international relations. So the Yemeni government follows this principle in its foreign policy.” He added: “As far as the Hunaish dispute is concerned, some parties aim to make this issue a continuous source for depleting our country’s resources. So the Yemeni government has taken a wise decision and resorted to international arbitration to solve the dispute over Hunaish.” Mr. Saleh Nawood of the Eritrean Embassy in Sanaa expressed his thanks to the YEFPC and YIDD for organizing this seminar. He said: “The challenge facing the two countries is to go back to the ordinary relations of the past. This seminar represents the first step towards overcoming all the sensitivities and ramifications of the past.” Mr. Hamoud Munasser of the YIDD said: “We have to be quite frank in our conduct in order to reach satisfactory answers to some of the suspicions raised on the YIDD’s connection with such an issue. This is the YIDD’s responsibility as an independent organization concerned with the promotion of a civil society and opening new channels of constructive dialogue. The relations between Eritrea and Yemen are beyond the current dispute. They are historical. A telegram was sent to participants at the seminar from two Eritrean politicians – Mohammed Taroom and Hamad Haly – expressing their satisfaction for this “initiative to improve the ties between the Yemeni and Eritrean peoples.”