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Saudi, Yemen on border defense cooperation

Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif said Saturday that the Kingdom and Yemen enjoy excellent relations in fighting terrorism and organized crime. He was speaking after talks with Yemen's Prime Minister Mohammed Ali Mujawar.

"We believe there are many terrorist networks which are taking advantage of the current situation in the region and trying to maneuver their way to create troubles," said the prince, speaking on the sidelines of a major donor conference hosted by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) here.

Prince Naif said cooperation among the two countries' security agencies is "at its best" and has "led to positive results." He said the Kingdom and Yemen are working together "to boost security on their shared border."

The donors' conference coincides with the visit of Yemen's prime minister who arrived here to attend a Yemeni-Saudi Coordination Council meeting. Referring to the conference, a Council spokesman said the meeting started discussing possible assistance to the war-torn country.

Saudi Arabia also announced it is signing agreements for four major projects to be implemented in Yemen.

"The two-day donors' meeting aims at providing financial help for Sanaa, reconstruction of the war-ravaged Saada province and anti-terrorism operations in that country," GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al-Attiyah said during the opening of the meeting.

The donors' conference follows a recent meeting in Riyadh between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh that focused on combating terrorism and security.

The donors' meeting is being attended by top officials of the GCC, the United States, Britain, Japan, the European Union, the United Nations and the World Bank. The meeting will hold consultations on a range of topics including terrorism, unemployment and poverty in Yemen and how to tackle Yemen's internal problems.

GCC contributions at the London donors' conference represent about 50 percent ($4.7 billion) of the total pledges made by the international community.

Referring to the urgent need to support Yemen, Yousaf bin Ibrahim Al-Bassam, deputy chairman of the Saudi Fund for Development, said four financing agreements would be signed on the sidelines of the meetings of the Yemeni-Saudi Coordination Council. The agreements are to finance a $50 million fifth power project, a $40 million water and sanitation program, the $20 million Hodeidah Hospital project and equipping laboratories of engineering and education colleges in Taiz worth $4.8 million.

He added that cash for six other projects have been allocated and that Saudi Arabia has fulfilled its entire $1 billion financial pledge to Yemen.

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