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Introduction: North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990. A southern secessionist movement in 1994 was quickly subdued. In 2000, Saudi Arabia and Yemen agreed to a delimitation of their border. Fighting in...

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History: Yemen was one of the oldest centers of civilization in the Near East. Between the 12th century BC and the 6th century AD, it was part of the Minaean, Sabaean, and Himyarite kingdoms, which controlled the lucrative spice trade, and later came under Ethiopian and Persian rule. In the 7th century, Islamic caliphs began to exert control over the area. After this caliphate broke up, the former north ...

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International Relations: Yemen has no outstanding disputes with any of its neighbours. A border agreement with Saudi Arabia was signed in 2006 which brought this long-standing dispute to a close.

Yemen’s Relations with the UK

After the low ebb of the 1994 civil war, which followed a period of political isolation after the Gulf War, Yemen embarked on a programme of political and economic reform. Relations were strained by a series of kidnap incidents, including that in December 1998 in which three British tourists were killed, and by the conviction of eight British citizens for terrorist activity in Yemen.

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Overview: As a direct consequence of its poverty, Yemen compares unfavorably with its Middle Eastern neighbors in terms of transportation infrastructure and communications network. Roads are generally poor, but several projects are planned to upgrade the system. Although there is no rail network, a rail line linking Yemen with Oman is under consideration by the Gulf Cooperation Council. Efforts ...

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Area Handbook Series
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