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Yemenis Face Economic Ruin

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TEHRAN, June 4 (ICANA) – Yemen's state television has aired an audio message from President Ali Abdullah Saleh who survives a heavy missile attack targeting the presidential palace in the capital, Sana'a.
Saturday, June 04, 2011 2:29:23 PM
Yemenis Face Economic Ruin

Yemeni security officials have confirmed the report, saying several high-ranking officials were also wounded after several shells fired by dissident tribesmen hit a mosque in the presidential compound.

The attack on the presidential palace came shortly after forces loyal to Saleh shelled the home of Sheikh Hamid al-Ahmar, a brother of the head of powerful Hashid tribal federation whose members have been fighting a deadly battle with the regime in Sana'a over the past two weeks.

To shed more light on the matter, Press TV has interviewed Mohamed Qubaty, the former adviser to the Yemeni prime minister from Sana'a.

Q: We are seeing major development today taking shape in Yemen, of course the issue of the well-being of the [Yemeni] President [Ali Abdullah Saleh] is a question now, but considering the fact that he is still alive and that he is going to make that news conference, who do you think is left now in his support base?

Qubaty: Well, we have warned the butcher and his tyrants in the past, you know, now nearly 12 days, that they have lost the initiative. Since he managed to orchestrate that stupid [which] can only be described as something outrageous, the way he managed to keep seven of the ambassadors of different countries, and dignitaries, besieged in the United Arab Eremites since that time we told him that he and his cronies, they are on a downhill, and they will be facing their destiny which we would not like it to the way it has turned out to be.

Today, now, they are seeing the last pages of the final chapter of their deeds. These crook or these butchers, most of them I considered to be creators of war, now they are facing their actual downhill trend and their final complete destruction of their whole regime.

He was very arrogant, he thought that he could hold the world ransom, by threatening that he is going to turn the whole area, the whole country, the whole of Yemen, into a place of internal fighting, and dispute, and anarchy. But he never understood that it is not in his means, he can never do that.

He is facing a lot of other powerful players in the area, and he should have understood, Mr. Obama's Counterterrorism Advisor, Mr. John O. Brennan, once he was there in the area, he should have known that he [Saleh] should have given up and he should have left, especially when [US Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton told him you should go out, and pointed out as if she was treating a dog telling him, out! And he should have known that it was his final destiny.

Q: We know that Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar was a key ally to Saleh just before he defected and started to fight. Do people in Yemen trust him though considering the situation that we reached now? Do you think that Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar is some who the people cannot trust?

Qubaty: I always said that the fate of this revolution and it objectives will not be decided by what goes on in Sana'a only. The fate and the direction of this change in Yemen will be decided by other squares of liberty, whether in Aden or Taizz or Hudaydah, or Mukalla, or Rada'a, or Ibb.

This youth and revolution itself had come to understand now the means of change, so whatever happens in Sana'a, if another tyrant or any other person who would not committed himself towards a democratic change in Yemen, towards building a new state in Yemen built on partnership in wealth, and partnership in influence, and equal opportunity, and equal nation hood, or native hood, it would not be at all excepted. And this reflects what is happening now, and simmering up in Taizz, or Aden, or Mukalla, or Hudaydah.

So, yes I agree, perhaps, we might be seeing further few chapters in the whole upheaval which is happening in Yemen, but I am much more worried about the economical situation in Yemen.

You see today the New York Times has come out with a very important article, mentioning that the case in Yemen is driving the economy in total ruins, and once with a ruined economy, that means Saleh has managed to push that area of the world into a state of anarchy, which actually destabilizes the stability and peace of the region, not only in Yemen, but the world at large.

And here a call for all Yemenis, all the people who have got a say in what's going to happen in the day following Saleh, because now we have got to think about the agenda following Saleh without a sort of conference, a dialogue, in which should be participated by all different political forces and all sections of the opposition, the Houthis, the southerners, the opposition outside the country, coming together with the help of our friend in the region, everybody in the region.

I know that the friends of Yemen which includes only the [P]GCC, besides Egypt and Jordan, added to them the European union and G8 (Group of Eight) countries have sort of committed themselves before ,about 16 months, to help Yemen so it should not slide towards a failed state. But unfortunately for the past three, four months, I have been seeing them sitting on their hands, sitting on the fence and watching.

Now, we tell them that it is due time, the move and our brothers in the [P]CGG, and all of our friend and all of our Islamic countries, please come to understand that the situation in Yemen is turning towards a very grave scenario.

I know that even if the president is killed, that these people, his cronies could still form, they could turn into a war of lords, and we might be heading towards disintegration of the country with different warlords fighting each other, not only Sadiq al-Ahmar, but to their warlords. We have got many warlords there, who have been ready heading towards the division of spoils in the country.

This is quite dangerous and grave situation. All Yemenis are now called to come back to their senses, and it's time that they gather and start a universal dialogue, which we won't mind the under the auspice of the [P]GCC and the friends of Yemen, all the Islamic Conference so that we could start to draw a new constitution, a new binding document for Yemenis for the way forward.

Q: How serious is the threat of power being transferred from one tribe to another tribe leading to another tribal ruler or dictatorship in Yemen, or would you say that there is a lack of alternative in Yemen?

Qubaty: I think because of the dire economical situation, there is a chance for our regional partner, or our global partners, if they are sincere to help Yemen, and if they have got a far long sight of their interest in the area, then it's time now to come to the help of Yemen, specially which when I mention the groups of friends of Yemen who scheduled a very important conference or meeting for themselves which should have convened last march, its time for them now to regrouping, and because of the dire economical situation, I think they have got the leverage to bring all these warlords and to bring the different sections of the opposition towards a universal dialogue, which would be inclusive to all sections of the opposition and all other players for the past, I think 60 or 80 years, all players should be called, who should be heading towards an historical compromise based on a full comprehensive national reconciliation and heading towards...

Q: Would you say that there is a problem in Yemen, and that it cannot handle that transition process by itself and that it would need help?

For instance we saw, with the case of Egypt, the military taking over interim power and then leading the transition process, of course, despite the difficulties that it is already facing, but are you trying to suggest then that Yemen cannot do that on its own?

Qubaty: Unfortunately the man, the tyrant, the butcher, who is ruling now, has spent all the money available in the coffers of the central bank. He has just squandered them; he has taken most of it outside the country.

So I'm speaking about the economical situation. We are facing a complete economical ruin of the country. Once the economy is in ruins and in tatters, I think then that is a recipe for anarchy and disaster of a very tremendous magnitude.

That's when I am speaking about help, I don't mean help in holding the country together, I mean because of the economical situation and that's what was going to happen.

Yemen was expecting something like 16 billion dollars to be pushed into the economy from the groups of friends of Yemen. they had a conference dated which was dated for the beginning of February, which was then postponed to the end of February, and this should have been in Riyadh, and it again it should have been again convened at the end of march, I think it is due time that such meeting should be convened and the new authority will be expecting a lot of help from outside.

I think one such sweetener comes from our partners , either regional our internationally, then they could help in the say of how the event will unfold in Yemen, because I do stress all the time, part of the problem in Yemen has been an economical problem. This man has ruined the country completely, because of the corruption. He was running the country on a basis of patronage, on total corruption. He has ruined all institutions in the country.

I am a professor in the university; the university has not been working on any basis of institution. I was an ambassador in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and I know it was run on the basis of corruption, built on just division of spoils on different tribes, not built based on the people abilities and the people qualification.

So, I think the world has got to help. Their help will have to come on the basis that they know and they have known for the past three years, the Yemenis were looking forwards towards a national dialogue conference to be convened.

They are under the auspice of the [P]GCC, the auspice of the Arab league, even the auspice of the Islamic Conference or even the friends of Yemen, were the Yeminis could reach a new document, a new constitution towards building a federal state.

I mean federal without federalism, there won't be a one Yemen any more. We have got to go towards giving people a paraphrase their say in how to run their own daily affairs, and also a federal country built on parliamentary system. Not a new president who could run the country just the way he likes [to], no! A parliamentary system, were we have only an honoree president there who represents the state and his dignitaries only.

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