German foreign minister makes unannounced visit to Yemen
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle arrived in Yemen on Monday, in an unannounced visit to the poor and conflict- riven country, DPA reported.
Among the issues he is likely to discuss during his brief visit are efforts to free a German family of five and a Briton abducted in the country last June.
"The hostage-taking is, of course, a barbaric act that we condemn," Westerwelle told reporters in the United Arab Emirates Sunday night.
"We are doing everything we can to allow the hostages to return to their loved ones," he said.
The German Foreign Ministry had not announced Westerwelle's trip in advance, but on Sunday a website linked to the Yemeni Ministry of Defence leaked the news.
"I would not like to talk about travel plans at this time for various reasons," Westerwelle told reporters in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Officials traveling with the foreign minister said that Yemen had figured in Westerwelle's discussions with Qatar's Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani earlier that day.
Those meetings were closed, but those present said Westerwelle and Sheikh Hamad had agreed that a lasting resolution to separatist rebellions in Yemen's north and south could come only through dialogue.