H. E. Mr. Abubakr Al-Qibri, Minister for Foreign Affairs
29 September 2008
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ABUBAKR AL-QIRBI, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Yemen, said terrorist acts on United States embassies in his country were being addressed by Yemeni security forces, and he joined others in condemning those acts. He welcomed the readiness to work daily to counter terrorism, and he hoped that such efforts would take the form of support for overcoming poverty. There was also a need for increased cooperation and coordination among intelligence services to “close all the gaps” that had allowed terrorists to continue their activities, which ran counter to human dignity.
Yemen had paid a heavy toll because of terrorism. With acts carried out by Al-Qaida and Islamic Jihad movements, there had been “tremendous economic losses”, which had cost the Government some $2 billion. He thus called on States and counter-terrorism partners to help his country implement development projects, which were key to countering terrorism. At the same time, many had found a pretext for mobilizing against the Islamic religion, and he fully supported Saudi Arabia’s initiative vis-à-vis religious dialogue. There was also a need to review counter-terrorism mechanisms, so that the war on terrorism would not lead to human rights violations.
Yemen, a least developed country, continued its democratization process through encouraging freedom of expression and aligning its work with the principle of peaceful power sharing. He reaffirmed the intention to preserve the integrity of upcoming parliamentary elections, and welcomed attendance of international observers.
Moving on, he said it was important that the Assembly be a forum for resolving issues on the international level, notably with respect for the interests of all States, which led back to the “age of alliances”. Changes on the international scene were multiple in nature; rising food and energy prices were compounded by the fact that industrial States tended to use biofuels, which threatened world food reserves. While biofuels helped to reduce damage caused by global warming, many faced famine. He called on the major economic powers to help poor countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
The situation for Palestinians was a source of grave concern, he said, especially with the ongoing construction of the separation wall. He called on all parties, including the diplomatic Quartet, to build conditions favourable for trust, and attain a just peace. Israeli occupation forces were present at the most sacred sites for Muslims, and such measures might lead to uncontrollable consequences. It was therefore essential to adopt resolutions that provided for the protection of such places.
Deeply concerned at attempts to interfere in Sudan, he called for respecting Sudan’s independence, encouraging Government dialogue with various factions. He urged ending the “negative impact” of the recent decision of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Such matters should not be used as pretext for interfering in States’ internal affairs.
The number of refugees in Yemen was increasing, notably from the Horn of Africa. Millions in that area, and in Somalia, were suffering from famine, and he urged enhanced international support for Yemen to cope with those refugee influxes. Welcoming Ethiopia’s readiness to withdraw from Somalia, he also called on all Somali parties to strive to reach reconciliation, and external parties to refrain from “meddling” in Somali affairs.