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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 4, 2000


His Excellency, Ali Abdullah Saleh, President of the Republic of Yemen, visited Washington, D.C. on April 3 - 4, 2000 at the invitation of President Clinton. During the visit, President Saleh met with President Clinton, Secretary of State Albright, and other senior officials of the Administration. In his meetings, President Saleh was accompanied by Chairman of the Consultative Council Abdulaziz Abdulghani, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdulkader Bajammal, Member of the Presidency of the Parliament Ja'afer Basaleh, Member of the Consultative Council Yahya al-Mutawakel, Minister of Oil Muhammad al Khadim al Wajih, Minister of Planning and Development Ahmed Sofan, Secretary General of the Presidency Abdullah al-Basheri, and Republic of Yemen Ambassador to the United States Abdulwahab al-Hajjri. President Saleh was also accompanied by a number of leaders of the Yemeni opposition.

The visit comes within the framework of the close bonds between the Republic of Yemen and the United States of America, and commemorates the tenth anniversary of the peaceful unification of Yemen on May 22, 1990. The unification of the two parts of Yemen, coincident with the end of the Cold War, ushered in constitutional government and a commitment by the Government and people of Yemen to democracy and economic reform. The United States commends Yemen for its democratic achievements, including guaranteeing through its constitution women's right to full political and economic participation.

The visit of President Saleh reflects the commitment of both governments to work closely together to assure continued democratic and economic development in Yemen. Yemen expressed its appreciation for the United States' assistance in the fields of democratization and economic reform, health care, higher education and demining. Yemen in particular appreciates the continuing provision of 416(b) U.S. food assistance and the decision by President Clinton to propose funding in the FY 2001 budget to maintain the USAID program that has educated and trained many Yemenis. The United States pledged it will continue to do its utmost to assist the Republic of Yemen as it faces the challenges of the twenty-first century. To further their economic and commercial relations, the two sides look forward to continuing their discussions on a bilateral investment treaty and ways to encourage investment by American companies in Yemen.

The United States appreciates the religious tolerance of Yemen, especially the right accorded to Yemeni Jewish communities world-wide, including those in Israel, to visit Yemen in accordance with the principles of human rights granted by the Yemeni constitution.

The two sides discussed topics of mutual interest and concern, expressing the hope that the parties to the Middle East peace process will soon arrive at a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace. The Yemeni side commended United States efforts and President Clinton's personal involvement to bring all the parties to the table. Both sides agreed that normalization of Israeli relations with all Arab states will follow a just and comprehensive peace.

Both sides also expressed great sympathy for the plight of the Iraqi people, and agreed to the need to continue to seek improved mechanisms to end this suffering. The government of Iraq must comply with all applicable United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

The United States and Yemen agreed on the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa. The United States also expressed its appreciation for Yemen's continuing efforts to deal with refugees and other victims of regional instability.