King, Sarkozy to discuss Mideast issues today

King Abdullah will travel today to France for talks with President Nicolas Sarkozy on Middle East issues and bilateral ties, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.During a several-hour visit, the King and Sarkozy will discuss efforts to  relaunch the Palestinian-Israeli peace process as well as means to enhance bilateral economic cooperation.

The talks will also include means to reduce Jordan’s foreign debt, particularly to France, which stands at $949 million — 21 per cent of the Kingdom’s debt to the Paris Club, according to Petra.

France is the second leading investor in the country after Kuwait. French investments reached 800 million euros over the past five years, mainly in the banking, water, hotel and telecommunications sectors.

 

Monarch condemns Yemen attack

Meanwhile, the King yesterday strongly condemned a suicide car bomb attack at an ancient temple site in Yemen that left seven Spanish tourists and two Yemenis dead.

In a cable to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the King stressed Jordan’s support for Yemen, which blamed Al Qaeda for the attack.

He also sent a similar cable to Spanish King Juan Carlos, condemning the “terrorist” attack, Petra said.

A suicide bomber rammed a car packed with explosives into the Spanish tourists’ convoy as they were wrapping up a tour of the temple in Marib, 170 kilometres east of Yemen’s capital Sanaa, according to Agence France-Presse.

The bombing was the worst attack against Westerners in the Arabian Peninsula country since Al Qaeda struck the USS Cole off the southern port of Aden in 2000, killing 17 US sailors, AFP said.

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