French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius met earlierTuesday with the Yemeni Oil Minister Khaled Bahaa to discuss bilateral relations
and future prospects, an official statement said.Since the French cabinet's reshuffle 10 days ago, Fabius now has responsibility not
only for Foreign Affairs but also for International Development, including theforeign trade portfolio.He has been promoting for some time what he calls "economic diplomacy" and nowhas the structure to be able to directly affect France's economic and financialrelations with other countries.The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that the talks with the Yemeni official were"in the framework of the support France is bringing to the political transition inYemen." Paris praised the Yemeni initiative to start work on drawing up a newConstitution, which France is assisting with technical support.The French statement also noted that the work on the constitution would allowYemen to organise an electoral process rapidly as has been set out in the transitionprocessFrance's oil company Total is the largest foreign investor in Yemen from where it
derives about three percent of its oil and gas production annually.