04 June, 2006

If Only

MUKALLA, Yemen, 3 June 2006 — Saudi Arabia and Yemen yesterday signed a landmark border agreement, opening a new era in their relations. The two countries also signed eight other accords to strengthen economic and investment cooperation.

Signing agreements is encouraging and helpful; but if only: Yemen can be accepted more by its immediate Arab neighbors. If only, we don't have to require visas just to cross the borders in to Arab neighboring countries. If only Yemenis can easily be allowed access to employment in our wealthier neighboring countries. These - would have been more helpful and meaningful.

Yemen, has only the seas and Arab countries along its borders; we can use the sea's rich resources to help us; and we are doing that. But we need our wealthier neighbors to assist us even more. All the leaders around know: Yemen's fate and theirs is inter-twined - now, just as always has been. To ignore Yemen, and not allow it within the Gulf countries organizations and bodies - is a big mistake. Yemen's right, and historic, place - is with its immediate Arab neighbors. Time.