President Saleh receives French media delegation

SANA’A, April 11, (Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh held talks Sunday with the French journalists who are currently visiting Yemen to celebrate Sana’a, Capital of the Arabic Culture 2004. President Saleh told the visitors that “being in Yemen, you will get to know about political and democratic reforms which started in Yemen since the reunification of Yemen 14 years ago.” He said that in his visit to France on Wednesday would be aimed at discussing the bilateral ties and the situations in Iraq and Palestine. President Saleh said that Yemen has offered proposals to the European Union and the Arab League for resolving the regional issues. Holding it is meant to patch up the disputes and not holding means the exacerbation of disputes, said Saleh of the delayed Arab Summit. President Saleh said: “What is happening in Iraq is regretful for us. The indiscriminate strikes have left so many causalities especially in the past couple of days. This happened in Fallujah and a number of other Iraqi cities. It is unacceptable that children and women die in these events.” President Saleh said the withdrawal of the occupation forces from Iraq is an international demand and that occupation nowadays “is not acceptable.” “It is an age of trading benefits and dialogue between nations,” he added. What is happening in Iraq does only deepen the sentiments of hatred between the nations of different civilizations, he insisted. “We don’t want to see hatred between the Arab World and the US or between the Arab World and Europe.” As for terror, President Saleh said the international community has to combat this scourge but not “by cluster bombs or missiles”. The ferocity of military attacks, President Saleh said, cannot wipe out terror. Intelligence and reeducation of militants is the practical option, he added. He said that Yemen wants gradual withdrawal of occupation forces and elections in Iraq. Saleh said that France made efforts until it gave Yemen an observer status in the Francophone organization. The President said Yemen welcomes the Arab and foreign investments. “We have an act that regulates investments and protect them. We tend to encourage explorations of oil and minerals.” As for the unilateral disengagement of Israel and the construction of the separation barrier, Saleh said that nothing of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s acts is surprising. He said it is known that Sharon never heed the UN resolutions, the Arab League resolutions and the Roadmap to peace. AA/NS SABA