Iraqi vice-president Taha Yassin Ramadan started an official visit to Yemen Sunday, August 19, for talks on sealing cooperation agreements, including a free trade zone between the two countries, the official INA news agency reported. He was met at the airport by his Yemeni counterpart, Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi.
Ramadan, who was heading a governmental delegation, said talks would focus on sealing "new agreements of cooperation, including one on a free trade zone" between Iraq and Yemen. "We will look at bilateral relations in various areas with the intention of moving them up a grade," Ramadan told journalists on his arrival at Sanaa airport.
Iraq, although under UN embargo since its 1990 invasion of Kuwait, has signed free trade agreements with Egypt, Syria and Tunisia. Similar agreements are planned with Jordan, Lebanon and Morocco.
Ramadan also renewed calls for the embargo to be lifted, and blasted the continuing overflights of Iraqi territory by US and British planes patrolling self-imposed no-flight zones.
Yemen took a pro-Iraqi stance during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis, but in recent years has improved relations with the Gulf Arab monarchies, particularly Saudi Arabia. ― (AFP, Baghdad)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )