Yemen-Saudi Treaty to Open more Areas for Cooperation

Published June 18th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Saudi Arabia's recent border agreement with Yemen would allow the two countries to cooperate in numerous areas, Saudi interior minister Sheikh Nayef bin Abdel Aziz said Saturday. 

"The border agreement will open large areas for economic cooperation, particularly in the domain of investments, and will contribute to further coordination on security matters," Sheikh Nayef told a press conference in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. 

Meanwhile, the Yemeni news agency SABA reported US President Clinton had sent congratulations on the signing of the deal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. 

"The United States warmly welcomes the news of the signing of a definitive and permanent agreement" on the border, which will "consolidate security in the region and strengthen economic development," Clinton wrote in a message to Saleh, the agency said. 

The accord, signed Monday, put an end to several decades of border disputes between Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Sheikh Nayef said the treaty concentrated on economic, cultural and security issues. 

The sheikh said "the historic achievement" still needed approval from two Saudi councils. "But this agreement has become a reality," he said. 

Sheikh Nayef said there would be opportunities for joint investment projects in the border areas and called on Saudi businesses to employ Yemeni labor. 

He denied that the agreement dealt with the issue of Yemeni workers who have been forbidden to leave the kingdom since the Gulf crisis in 1990. 

Some 1.5 million Yemenis work in Saudi Arabia, where they could travel freely before 1990. But 800,000 of them were restricted from leaving after Saudi Arabia accused the Sanaa government of taking a pro-Iraqi position - RIYADH (AFP) 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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