ABU DHABI // The Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, thanked the UAE for its continuing humanitarian assistance during a visit to the capital today. On his arrival Mr Saleh highlighted the country's support for Yemeni flood victims, the state news agency, WAM, reported. He later held talks with Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, President of the UAE, at Al Mushref Palace. "We wish to express our gratitude and appreciation to the UAE ... for their support for Yemen and its development, notable among this is the generous support during the flood that hit the Hadhramout region in Yemen," Mr Saleh said. The UAE has pledged 500,000 tonnes of wheat to Yemen, the poorest Gulf state, which was hit by devastating floods in October. The first shipment arrived in January and was distributed to about 1.5 million people. In December, a convoy of lorries carrying 115 tonnes of aid including food, blankets and winter clothes arrived in Yemen courtesy of the UAE Red Crescent Authority.
Sheikh Khalifa has also ordered that more than 1,000 homes be built to replace mud dwellings destroyed in the floods. "This is not something new to our brothers in the UAE, who have always stood by Yemen in difficult times," Mr Saleh said. He went on to express appreciation for the role of the UAE in boosting security, stability and development in the region. The leaders also discussed preparations from the Arab Summit in Doha, and reaffirmed their commitment to co-operation. "We are satisfied with the level of steady development in fraternal ties between Yemen and the United Arab Emirates. 'We will always continue to work for everything that will push these ties forward," Mr Saleh said. Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister, were among others who received the president. firstname.lastname@example.org