Yemen, Eritrea to mend tense relations over fishing
Sana'a, 10 Dec 2004, SPA -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
said Friday his country and Eritrea have agreed to turn over a new page in
their relations after resolving a misunderstanding over fishing rights near a
once disputed Red Sea archipelago.
"No misunderstanding remains over fishing. What happened was a passing
summer cloud," Saleh said in a joint news conference with visiting
Eritrean counterpart Isaias Afeworki.
"What happened is the past. It is gone with all its negative and positive
aspects, and we are starting a new page of excellent relations," he said.
Saleh said the two governments had reached an agreement to set up a joint
fishing company to put an end to the dispute over fishing rights in areas
surrounding the Hunaish archipelago in the south of the Red Sea.
Tensions recently flared up between Yemen and Eritrea over traditional fishing
rights around the archipelago, the sovereignty of which was previously disputed
by the two countries. The sovereignty dispute was resolved in December 1998
when a Hague-based international tribunal granted Yemen ownership over most of
The row had sparked armed confrontation in 1995 leading to an Eritrean
occupation of the bigger island, the Great Hunaish.
Since the beginning of 2001, the two countries have been accusing each other of
erroneous interpretation of the tribunal's verdict on fishing rights. --SP 1757
Local Time 1457 GMT