Saleh, Chirac to hold talks in Paris Today

SANA’A, (Saba Net) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh left Sana’a on Tuesday for Paris in a state visit to France. During the visit, President Saleh will meet his French counterpart Jacques Chirac and other top French officials to discuss bilateral relations and fields of the cooperation between the two friendly countries. It is expected that the two leaders would discuss the recent regional developments as well as situation in the Horn of Africa. On departure, President Saleh said the visit is a part of continued contacts between the two countries, adding that his discussions with Chirac would help “bolster mutual co-operation between the two countries at all different levels.” He said he would exchange with his French counterpart the latest developments in the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. “We will brief our French friends on Yemeni views about the current situation in Iraq and the Arab-Israeli conflict,” President Saleh said. He highlighted level of the Yemeni-French relations, confirming interest of the two countries to push those relations forward. “We welcome French investments in Yemen that would improve the present partnership and widen horizons of cooperation to serve common interests of both countries.” The president is companied in his visit by Foreign Minister Abu-Bakr al-Qerbi, Interior Minister Rashad al-Alymi, Secretary General of Presidency Abdullah al-Bashyri and other top state officials. In Paris, a French foreign ministry spokesperson said the visit is part of the regular exchanges between Yemen and France. He said in a statement that President’s Saleh visit “will be an opportunity to deepen political dialogue, consolidate our relations on the counter-terrorism front and develop cultural and technical cooperation.” “In a difficult regional context, dominated by the situation in Iraq, the necessity of fighting terrorism, the stalled Mideast peace process and the situation in the Horn of Africa, we welcome the continued cooperation with Yemen, a country with which we have constant, trustful dialogue at the highest level,” said the statement. AH/KMSABA