Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz, Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation and Inspector-General, is on a two-day official visit to Yemen for the purpose of conveying to President Saleh, to the Yemeni government, and to the people of Yemen, King Fahd’s compliments and good wishes, and of chairing the Saudi side of the meetings of the Saudi/Yemen Higher Joint Committee which was formed within the framework of the seventh article of the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the two countries in Makkah on February 26, 1995. The delegation accompanying him includes Prince Nayef Bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Interior; Prince Saud Al-Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs; Dr. Osama Shobokshi, Minister of Health; Ibrahim Al-Angary, Special Advisor at the Royal Court; Ministers of State Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Khoweiter, Dr. Mutlib Al-Nafeesa, and Dr. Musaid Al-Eban; and the Saudi Ambassador to Yemen Ali Al-Qufaidi.
On his arrival in Sanaa, Prince Sultan expressed his pleasure at the visit, and stated: “The links of faith and the bonds of brotherhood and neighborliness render us always optimistic that such brotherhood will continue and develop, and be further enhanced in view of the concrete fraternal ties between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz and His Excellency President Ali Abdullah Saleh”. Prince Sultan thanked Almighty God that the leadership and the people of the two countries continue to meet with a friendship that reflects the indigenous Islamic and Arabic spirit and tradition, and described his visit as one of love and brotherhood that would enhance Arab and Islamic links and serve the interest of both countries and their peoples.
Prince Sultan stated that the purpose of his visit to Yemen is to attend the meeting of the Higher Joint Committee and endorse its resolutions to continue the brotherly meetings with the aim of pushing ahead bilateral cooperation in all fields. He pointed out the concern of both countries to maintain peace and stability in the region, including support for the Middle East Peace Process. Furthermore, he reiterated the Kingdom’s concern for a peaceful end to the ongoing conflict between Yemen and Eritrea, adding that current challenges being faced by the region as a result of international developments could only be confronted by joint action and cooperation.
Highlighting the outcome of the recent visit of President Saleh to the Kingdom, and the talks he had with King Fahd, Prince Sultan emphasized the need for continued exchange of visits between officials of the two countries as well as members of the joint committees. He also praised the two security cooperation agreements recently signed by the Saudi and Yemeni interior ministers.
Prince Sultan stated that although the Taif Treaty [in 1934] had facilitated only a partial demarcation of the borders between the two countries, nevertheless it constituted a cornerstone on which their close ties were set up. The Memorandum of Understanding [in 1995] reaffirmed the solid relations and the common desires and determination to demarcate the remaining border lines, and established a number of joint committees for this purpose. The work of these committees has been periodically reviewed by the Higher Joint Committee as stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of removing any obstacles that they might face. The Saudi/Yemeni Joint Committee in fact held another meeting yesterday under the co-chairmanship of Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz and Sheikh Abdullah Al-Ahmar, Speaker of the Yemeni House of Deputies.
Meanwhile, an agreement on economic, trade, investment and technical cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Yemen was signed yesterday in Sanaa by Saudi Acting Minister of Finance and National Economy Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khoweiter and Yemeni Minister of Finance Muhammad Ahmad Al-Junaid. Minister Al-Junaid expressed Yemen’s satisfaction over the agreement and described it as an addition to the foundation that strengthens bilateral relations between the two countries, adding that it is one more fruitful result of the current visit to Yemen by Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz.
On this occasion, Dr. Al-Khoweiter stated: “One aspect of the work of the joint committees has been crowned with success tonight. ….. This agreement will be the framework for efforts to be made in other areas. Moreover, it is a symbol of the close cooperation that exists between the two sides. Each side has set the noble goal to bring about a fruitful outcome for cooperation.”