SANA’A, Jan. 17 (Saba)- Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi has hailed the strong Yemeni-Kuwaiti ties and Kuwait's non-stop support to Yemen and expressed hope that Kuwait would contribute to construction and development in Yemen.
During an interview with Kuwait's Al-Siyasah, al-Qirbi stressed the role of the GCC forces in ensuring security and stability in the region, adding that Yemen is the southern shield of the Arab Peninsula.
Al-Qirbi is quoted as saying that "external parties" are trying to inflame the situation and fuel sectarian strife in Yemen.
He said that the security situation is improving across Yemen, pointing out that the country is now working to eliminate impact of the crisis and achieve economic growth.
In response to a question on the significance of the visit by a Yemeni high-level official delegation to Kuwait, al-Qirbi said that the "visit comes as part of an effort by the national consensus government to countries that have had an active role in resolving the political crisis experienced by Yemen in the past months".
"The Gulf-brokered initiative and its implementation mechanism has given Yemen a real chance to get out of the crisis and enter into a new phase", he added.
Al-Qirbi went on to say that the GCC States always support Yemen and that "Yemen's security, unity, and stability are important for the security and stability of the region".
Asked about Kuwait's contribution in development projects and infrastructure in Yemen, al-Qirbi said that "Kuwait has provided Yemen with hundreds of millions of dollars over the past decades".
He adds that Yemenis hope that "Kuwait would support infrastructure projects in Yemen, including electricity, roads, schools, and hospitals in order to achieve stability".
On how he views the results of recent GCC summit regarding the idea of forming a "confederation", the Yemeni official said that the GCC States' unity is "a key issue in the protection of the region from any external intervention". He adds that the formation of a confederation would "enhance the GCC economic strength, security, and military capabilities".
Al-Qirbi went on to say that Yemen can be "part of the GCC States to help protect the Arab Peninsula; especially since Yemen is the southern shield of the peninsula".
Asked about the difficulties facing the full implementation of the Gulf initiative, al-Qirbi said that the main challenge that may face Yemen during the presidential elections is "security", which might affect the election process unless all the political partners face this challenge. He added that the Yemeni Army and Security forces must assume their responsibilities to maintain security across Yemen.
When asked about the possibility of a religious conflict and if al-Qaeda still constitutes a threat in Yemen, al-Qirbi ruled out the possibility of a religious conflict in the country and added that "sectarian strife would not affect the government".
He further said that "Al-Qaeda still exists" and "terrorism must always be regarded as a threat", adding that "Yemen is dealing with terrorism out of this prospect".
Al-Qirbi went on to say that the Salafis and Huthists are part of "sectarian strife that we want to avoid in Yemen, because we have not known sectarian conflicts over the centuries".
"It is unfortunate that this comes at a time when we call for Muslim Renaissance, enlightenment, and acceptance of other sects".
In response to a question on the role played by Iran and Al-Jazeera in what is happening in Yemen, al-Qirbi said that Iran's "official media support demonstrations and advocate change in Yemen" but they "have a different attitude towards Syria", so the Iranian position is "strange". He went on to say that "unfortunately, Al-Jazeera has damaged the relationship between Yemen and Qatar".