Oct 17, 2009, 4:54 PM
Iran’s FM to visit Yemen

TEHRAN, Oct. 17 (MNA) – Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki announced on Saturday that he plans to visit Sanaa to hand over President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s message to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“In this visit I will carry the president’s message to Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of the country,” Mottaki told the Mehr News Agency.

 

The minister said Iran attaches great importance to its relations with Yemen.

 

A top lawmaker, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, said on Friday that Yemen has called on Iran to send a special envoy to Sanaa to hold talks with the country’s officials on the ongoing conflict between Shias and the government.

 

"Based on the received information, Yemeni officials have expressed willingness for Iran to send a special envoy to the country," ISNA quoted Boroujerdi as saying.

 

Boroujerdi added that Ali Akbar Velayati, foreign policy adviser to the Supreme Leader, has already visited Yemen and discussed the Shia case with Yemeni officials.

 

The Zaidi Shia Muslims are in conflict with the government, saying they have been marginalized politically, economically and religiously by the Saudi- and Western-backed government.

 

But the conflict intensified when the army unleashed Operation Scorched Earth on Aug. 11.

 

Aid groups, which have been given limited access to the northern provinces, say up to 150,000 people have fled their homes.

 

AA/PA

END

MNA

 

News Code 36420

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