Yemeni Foreign Minister to Visit London
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qurbi left the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa for London on Saturday saying he would discuss "security cooperation" and other bilateral matters with British officials, SABA news agency reported.
Qurbi, invited by British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, did not say if he would raise Sanaa's request for the extradition of an Islamist radical living in Britain, but indicated he would push for a hand-over.
"The visit is aimed at boosting bilateral ties, and (talks will cover) the consequences of terrorist acts which targeted Yemen and harmed its economy," Qurbi said prior to his departure.
Yemen accuses Abu Hamza al-Masri of involvement in the 1998 kidnapping of foreigners in Yemen and has demanded his extradition from Britain. The Egyptian-born Abu Hamza, who holds British citizenship, is also allegedly connected to an extremist group calling itself the Aden-Abyan Islamic Army.
On Thursday, SABA reported that Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh had received a message from the British government on Yemen's request for Abu Hamza's extradition. Qurbi said he would review "security and economic cooperation, as well as investment in Yemen," with his British hosts.
Furthermore, talks would focus on "international cooperation in combating terrorism and the grave situation in the Middle East," he concluded. (Albawaba.com)
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