The emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, met Saturday with Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, on the first day of a three-day visit to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries, officials said.
The meeting also provided an occasion for the two leaders to share views on the failure last week of the Camp David peace summit, the Middle East peace process in general and the situation in Iraq, 10 years after its invasion of Kuwait.
Saleh et Sheikh Hamad "discussed the means to support the legitimate rights of the Palestinians, especially over the question of Jerusalem, and to support the Syrian position on the return of the Golan" Heights by Israel, a Yemeni official said on condition of anonymity. He said the two leaders also agree that the international embargo on Iraq, imposed after it invaded Kuwait, should be lifted.
The two men are expected to sign eight accords during the visit of Sheikh Hamad, the first to this country by a Qatari emir. These will include agreements on encouraging and protecting investment, double taxation and encouraging Yemenis to take up employment in the oil-rich emirate.
Sheikh Hamad was accompanied by his ministers of foreign affairs, finance, economy and trade.
Doha and Sanaa have traditionally had good relations. In 1994, Qatar set itself apart from other Gulf monarchies in supporting President Saleh in the face of a secessionist threat in the south of Yemen.
Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, is in need of petroleum and gas resources, as well as foreign investment, for its development. Qatar has the world's third-largest natural gas reserves, after Russia and Iran.
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )