RIYADH, 18 February 2004 — Visiting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh held talks here yesterday with Saudi leaders and emphasized his country's resolve to strengthen security cooperation with the Kingdom.
"The security of Yemen and Saudi Arabia is inseparable, and what concerns the security of the Kingdom concerns Yemen and vice versa," the president said in an arrival statement.
Saleh met with Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd, Crown Prince Abdullah, deputy premier and commander of the National Guard, and other top officials including Prince Sultan, second deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, the discussions focused on major global issues, most importantly Palestine and Iraq, and ways of strengthening bilateral relations.
The Yemeni president was accompanied by Dr. Abdul Kareem Al-Iriyani, his political adviser, Foreign Minister Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qurbi, Defense Minister Abdullah Ali Alaiwa and Interior Minister Rashad Al-Aleemi.
"I am pleased to make this visit to discuss with my brothers King Fahd and Prince Abdullah all matters concerning our relations," President Saleh said in his statement.
Saleh hailed a June 2000 border pact between the two countries as a "model for solving border disputes," adding that it ushered in a new era of partnership.
"We are careful to live by the brotherly spirit embodied in the agreement by converting borders into bridges for brotherly connection, cooperation and unity," he said.
He sought to highlight the "many positive results" of the recent agreement to boost security measures at the border to prevent arms smuggling and infiltration.
Saudi Arabia has frequently announced arrests and arms seizures along the 1,800-kilometer border and has stepped up the hunt for militants blamed for suicide bombings in Riyadh that left 52 people dead last year.