A top official of the Republic of Yemen held an unprecedented meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York last week.
Abdulkarim Al-Eryani, Yemen’s deputy prime minister and foreign minister, described his meeting with Jewish leaders and Yemenite American Jews as “turning a page in our relations.”
He said he would support a move by the Arab League to end the economic boycott of Israel and that Yemen will establish full diplomatic relations with Israel upon completion of the peace process.
Al-Eryani also expressed his support for efforts to preserve Jewish historical sites in Yemen and his nation’s Jewish culture. “I would be sad if 5,000 years of Jewish history disappeared from Yemen,” he said.
Jewish leaders praised Al-Eryani for the important role he has played in enabling Yemenite Jews to travel abroad. “If any one person is responsible for the fact that Yemenite families have been able to be reunited with their families abroad it is Dr. Al-Eryani,” said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the conference.