Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ahmadinejad seeks warmer ties with Yemen

Source: AFP, 23/12/2010

— Yemen's president received a letter from his Iranian counterpart on Wednesday seeking to strengthen ties undermined by alleged Iranian support for a rebellion in the Arabian Peninsual country's north.

In the letter, delivered by Iranian Vice President Hamid Baghaei, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated his country's "concern and will to develop relations and promote cooperation in various fields," state news agency reported.

In a reply, Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh called for "strengthening relations with Iran ... to serve the common interests" of both countries.

Relations turned cold after Yemen accused predominantly Shiite Iran of aiding rebels of the Shiite Zaidi sect during the latest round of fighting last year in an on-and-off conflict that has been running for six years.

That fighting ended with an uneasy truce in February, which has been repeatedly shaken by clashes between the rebels and pro-government tribes.
In late March, Saleh repeated these accusations, pointing to Iranian clerics who have supported the Zaidi rebellion.

The rebels have repeatedly denied accusations of military support from Iran.

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