Spain and Yemen seek to boost ties

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Spain and Yemen on Tuesday agreed to boost bilateral cooperation, including in the fight against terrorism.

30 January 2008

MADRID - Spain and Yemen on Tuesday agreed to boost bilateral cooperation, including in the fight against terrorism.

Spain's King Juan Carlos praised Yemen's efforts to capture the killers of eight Spanish tourists whose convoy was bombed in central Yemen in July.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for cooperation in trying to achieve "a total peace" in the Middle East and in combating terrorism.

Saleh and Juan Carlos spoke at a lunch hosted by the king to mark the Yemeni president's first official visit to Spain.

Saleh then met Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, with whom he discussed the possibilities of increasing Spanish investments in Yemen, development cooperation and the fight against terrorism.

Saleh told the king and Zapatero that Yemen would cancel the death penalty handed to a Spanish citizen of Syrian origin, Nabil Manaki, in order to extradite him to Spain.

Manaki was detained in 1997 with 21 others on charges of planning terrorist attacks in Yemen.

Spain and Yemen signed cooperation agreements in the sectors of tourism, education, health and protection of investments.

After Saleh's delegation arrived in Spain on Monday, some of its members attended a conference on the Yemeni contribution to Spanish culture when the country was largely under the rule of Muslim Moors more than half a millennium ago.

Yemen made "a notable contribution to the culture of al-Andalus," as the Muslim part of Spain was known, expert Gema Martin Munoz said.

[Copyright dpa 2008]

Subject: Spanish news

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