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Saleh's adviser asks for support from Gulf.

Sana'a: Poverty, population growth and a scarcity of resources are slowing the rate of growth in Yemen and not political or social problems as widely believed, says Abdul Kareem Al Iryani, political advisor to President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

International events were only bound to exacerbate poverty in Yemen and assistance from donors alone would not suffice to turn things around, said Kareem.

"The $6 billion (Dh22 billion) pledged by the donors [Gulf and western countries] will be used for projects over 15 years, but poverty can't wait 15 years," Al Iryani said during an interview with the Al Hura satellite television station on Monday.

Referring to financial commitments made by international and Gulf donors during a donors conference held in London in 2006 to support Yemen's development, he said the country's per capita income continued to be just around $600.

Calling on Gulf countries to help Yemen solve its problems, he said: "We wish the Gulf countries could assimilate the Yemeni labour force...The Somalis have been fleeing the poverty in their country to Yemen using all available means, and Yemenis are bound to do the same," he said.

On the armed Al Houthi rebellion in the country's north, he said: "I have high hopes that no more war will happen."

Rebel fighters

He said the rebels had received external support but avoided naming specific countries.

Taking a swipe at the Iranian media for its role in the insurgency, he said: "The Iranian World Satellite channel hardly belongs to Al Houthi."

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Sep 12, 2008
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