Yemen Marks 10 Years of Unity

Published May 22nd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Yemen put on a show of its military hardware and a colorful parade of the country's youth for senior foreign dignitaries Monday to mark 10 years of unity between the north and south of the poor Arab state, reported Reuters Monday.  

Thousands of troops from the army, navy and air force marched past, as warplanes roared overhead in formation.  

Tanks, armored personnel carriers and other military vehicles towing cannons or carrying missiles noisily rolled along the parade ground, the agency added.  

Prime Minister Abdul-Karim al-Iryani welcomed the guests in an opening speech saying Yemen was "beginning the new era relying on democracy based on political plurality, freedom of expression, freedom of the press and respect for human rights." 

The country's mobile telephone system was switched off as part of tightened security before the arrival of heads of state and senior officials from about 50 countries.  

Police have cracked down on residents carrying firearms publicly in the capital of a country, which usually makes the headlines when foreigners are kidnapped, added Reuters.  

Monday's display began with thousands of uniformed children and youths carrying bright flags marching in front of a podium where the president and foreign guests were seated overlooking the vast parade ground in the capital Sanaa.  

Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh sat next to Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Abdullah and the two men often exchanged comments, added the agency.  

Many of the other senior guests were from fellow Arab states and nearby African countries.  

They included Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, as well as the Ethiopian and Djibouti presidents.  

Another high-profile guest was Kuwait's Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, added Reuters - Albawaba.com  

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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