Sunday, July 3, 2011

Yemen... A Country Still Saleh Priority

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh still prioritizes national interest over anything even if he is in a serious health condition. This was evident in a message he conveyed recently to the Yemeni stakeholders, through Foreign Affairs Minister Abubakar Al-Qurba. He urged them to be optimistic about the Gulf initiative, start the national dialogue, and end the impasse. This message showed that Saleh, who was injured in a terrorist attack which forced him to leave the country for awhile to undergo treatment, remains a force to be reckoned with. The attack did not weaken his political position and popularity, prompting millions of Yemenis to express their solidarity with the president a few days ago. His instructions in favor of the Gulf initiative do not entail succumbing to pressures from the opposition protests or the assassination attempt.
Saleh has responded to the demands of the citizens, especially his supporters who are part of the Yemeni equation. The incidents have proven that the pro-government protesters form the majority with a single agenda. They have right to perform their national roles like numerous other factions, which find it difficult to come up with a unified stand; hence, prolonging the impasse. The president has reaffirmed his plan to push for the peaceful transition of power through the constitutional institutions. He has taken this step to prevent political vacuum that might lead the country towards the unknown.
The opposition parties in Yemen have introduced many programs and discussed several agendas. However, the citizens and other regional countries do not support these agendas. This necessitates dialogue under the Gulf initiative to lay down an acceptable unified national agenda to address the problem. It is also vital to approve the proposed formation of a government of national unity (GNU), consisting of the opposition and the ruling Popular Conference Party. This will yield the desired results in terms of sustainable stability in Yemen and strong coordination between all institutions to rectify lapses. The wicked power blocs intend to take advantage of the lapses to transform Yemen into a terrorist backyard and launch pad for attacks on neighboring states to create another Somalia.
Undoubtedly, Saleh will leave an indelible mark in history if he remains firm in his stand to ensure that all institutions work properly while he hands over power to the appropriate people at the right time and responds to the demands of the citizens; thereby, putting the interests of the nation on top of his priority list.
-This commentary was published in The Arab Times on 03/07/2011
-Ahmed Al-Jarallah is the editor-in-chief of The Arab Times and of the Kuwaiti Daily Assyassah

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