Yemen's Leader to Visit Saudi Arabia for Border Talks

Published May 25th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Wednesday he would soon travel to neighboring Saudi Arabia to discuss a long-running border dispute, reported Reuters.  

Saleh made the comments in an interview with the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite television channel after Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah visited Yemen this week for its national day celebrations.  

"We agreed to discuss this (border) issue in Saudi Arabia, namely in Jeddah, in the coming 20 days. I will pay a visit to Saudi Arabia in 20 days," the president was quoted as saying.  

He said he had discussed the border issue, but not in detail, during the visit by the crown prince, the most senior Saudi official to visit Yemen since the 1991 Gulf War, AFP said.  

Yemen and Saudi Arabia have been locked in the border dispute since the 1930s when tribal homelands and frontiers in the Arabian Peninsula were ill defined.  

The two states signed a memorandum of understanding in 1995 setting up several committees to try to resolve the dispute, but regular talks have shown little visible sign of progress, added Reuters.  

Asked if Yemen would seek arbitration over the dispute, the president said "as far as I believe there is no reason to go to arbitration, we can reach a cordial solution."  

Yemen has proposed in the past arbitration to resolve the row, a move opposed by Saudi Arabia.  

The president said the crown prince's visit was a positive step in developing and strengthening bilateral relations, added AFP.  

Riyadh and Sanaa share a border of some 2,500 kilometers, and despite holding discussions over its demarcation since 1995, they have made little progress and the issue has soured relations – (Several Sources) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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