Japan welcomes Saleh's initiative

TOKYO,Feb.07(Saba)-Japan welcomed on Monday the initiative President Ali Abdullah Saleh has announced before the joint meeting of Parliament and the Shura Council. The welcome was declared by Director of the Middle East and African Affairs Bureau at the Japanese Foreign Ministry Matsutomi Shigeo during his meeting with Yemen's ambassador to Tokyo Marwan Numan. "Japan welcomes the positive political developments in Yemen in light of this presidential initiative associated with the call to continue the national dialogue", Shigeo said. He noted the importance of the national dialogue adopted by the Yemeni government with the opposition so as to enhance Yemen's ability to face its challenges. Shigeo reiterated Japan's supportive positions to Yemen's stability, security unity and democracy. At the meeting, Numan and Shigeo discussed the underway preparations for holding the coming meeting of the Friends of Yemen scheduled to be held in Riyadh in next March. They touched on aspects of the current cooperation between the two countries in areas of development and combating piracy and terrorism. On Wednesday, President Saleh announced, in a joint meeting of the Parliament and the Shura Council, the freezing of constitutional amendments, denying allegations there is an intention to hereditary rule in Yemen. He called on the quartet committee, formed by the ruling General People Congress (GPC) party and the opposition parties, to resume its work and prepare for a comprehensive national dialogue. In addition, President Saleh said the 27 April parliamentary elections would be postponed. He added that he will not seek his re-election in 2013, saying "No to hereditary rule and no to life presidency". BA Saba