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Monday, 12 June, 2000, 18:35 GMT 19:35 UK
Yemen, Saudi Arabia sign border deal

Saudi Arabia and Yemen have signed an agreement to settle their long-running border dispute.

The deal was agreed during a visit to Saudi Arabia by Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemeni officials said the border pact laid down arrangements for the demarcation of the common border, which had been discussed since 1995.

Clashes broke out in July 1999 over an island claimed by both Riyadh and Sanaa in the Red Sea, during which three Yemeni soldiers were killed.

Mr Saleh, who held talks with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, told reporters before leaving the Red Sea port city of Jeddah that the two sides had "reached a peaceful, cordial, brotherly and satisfactory solution, which would be preserved by future generations in Yemen and Saudi Arabia".

Demarcation

The Yemeni president said joint committees, headed by the interior ministers of both countries, would supervise implementation of the pact and that a company would be chosen to demarcate the borders.

"The forces of the two countries will withdraw about 20 km (13 miles) on both sides," Mr Saleh added.

Yemen and Saudi Arabia have been locked in the border dispute since the 1930s when tribal homelands and frontiers in the Arabian Peninsula were ill-defined.

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