President Saleh due in Turkey, Germany

SANA’A, Feb. 21 (Saba) – An official source said on Tuesday that President Ali Abdullah Saleh is to pay visits to Turkey and Germany next week. Responding to an invitation from the Turkish president Abdullah Gul, Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said that President Saleh’s visit to Turkey would center on promoting bilateral relations between the two countries in the light of boosting Arab-Turkish dialogue and the Yemeni-Turkish coordination within the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). The state-run quoted al-Qirbi as saying that Saleh and Gul would also bring up the latest developments in the Middle East region. For his visit to Germany, al-Qirbi said that President Saleh would hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkeland senior officials and businessmen on promoting bilateral relations as well as the European role in the Middle East region. Deputy Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Hisham Sharaf said President Saleh’s visits to Turkey and Germany have much substance since it comes with an aim at developing Yemen’s economic partnership with each. Hisham stated the trade exchange between Yemen and Turkey reached $200 million in 2006 and increased during eleven months later to $250 million, and this exchange is expected to rise to $500 million over next years after launching more export fields between the two countries. Hisham noted the two countries had signed about 30 joint agreements, affirming the visits would help attract more Turkish investments into the country in areas such as real states development and creating new mechanisms to promote the trade value as well as to benefiting from each other’s experiences. Head of the Chamber of Industry and Commerce in the capital Sana’a Hassan al-Kbous said a businessmen delegation would accompany President Saleh during his visits to Turkey and Germany, pointing out that the delegation would discuss with their Turkish and German counterparts means to boost commercial ties and set up joint investment projects. Investment opportunities would be presented at their meetings with their counterparts as well as will bring up the facilitations the Yemeni investment law offers for foreign investors. FR/YA Saba