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Yemeni government and opposition welcome GCC initiative

Anti-government protesters in Taiz welcome troops who arrived to maintain order between the opposition and pro-government supporters. [Reuters/Stringer]

Anti-government protesters in Taiz welcome troops who arrived to maintain order between the opposition and pro-government supporters. [Reuters/Stringer]



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Government and opposition political parties in Yemen welcomed an invitation from the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) Tuesday (April 5th) for them to hold talks in Riyadh to end the country's political crisis.

"We welcome, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Yemen, this resolution, and confirm the Yemeni government's readiness to discuss any ideas offered by our brothers from the Gulf Co-operation Council to move beyond the status quo," caretaker Foreign Minister Abubakr al-Qirbi said in a statement released by Saba, the official news agency.

Opposition leaders, however, agreed to participate only if the talks focused on a transfer of power, and if the dialogue were held with the next president.

The GCC foreign ministers, in the final communiqué of their ministerial meeting held Sunday in Riyadh, called for the concerned parties in Yemen "to prioritise the national interest and promptly return to the national dialogue, agree on national goals and necessary reforms, and reach a comprehensive agreement that would restore peace and achieve what the Yemeni people are seeking in terms of reform, and a secure, stable and dignified life".

Tariq al-Shami, spokesman for the ruling Congress Party, told Al-Shorfa that the Yemeni president has repeatedly called for dialogue over a peaceful transfer of power according to the constitution.

Mohammed Qahtan, the spokesman for the opposition Joint Meeting Parties, told Al-Shorfa, "The opposition welcomes the talks for the transfer of power as well as dialogue but with the next president".

Qahtan said, "The consent of the opposition came after clashes and attacks by the authorities against peaceful demonstrators, and each passing day blood is being spilled."

Qahtan's statement follows ongoing confrontations between protesters and security forces in Taiz province, which has led to dozens of deaths and injuries in the past few days. Sit-ins by young demonstrators and the opposition, who are calling for President Ali Abdullah Saleh's immediate resignation, also continue in public squares in Yemen's 15 provinces.

"The president must leave and hand over power to a vice president who is not a member of his family, and we will sit down and talk with the vice president," Qahtan said, referring to the recent initiative presented by the opposition Saturday, which called for dialogue about a transition period after Saleh transfers power to his deputy.

Mohammad al-Sabri, a spokesman for the Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, told Al-Shorfa, "We welcome the position of the GCC, which respects the will of the Yemeni people who are demanding the president's resignation, and we support any effort by any party, whether they are local, Arab or international that respects the will of the people." He added, "The decision today is in the hands of the people and the youth who are in the squares. The opposition does not claim guardianship over them, and we are not authorised to speak on their behalf."

The Coalition for the Revolutionary Youth announced that it rejects any initiatives unless they aim to transfer power and require the president to step down immediately.

Fahd al-Munifi, a leader of the group, told Al-Shorfa, "The chief demand of the Revolutionary Youth is the president's resignation and (removal) of his relatives from power. Any initiative in this regard would be welcome."





    No matter how the bad conditions are in the Arab countries, they still s cooperate with each other. In fact, the Gulf initiative has proved the concern the Arabs have for Yemen, because the events taking place in this country have caused the suffering of all the Arab and foreign countries, especially since God forbids such violence, terrorism and cruelty. Thus, Arab countries are cooperative in times of need, and we are all with Yemen. I encourage all the Arab countries to support the Yemeni people, as the Gulf countries are doing. Besides, Bahrain has supported Yemen, despite its difficult conditions. We also pray to God to help Yemen and improve its situation. We want all its crises to end and we wish that life stabilizes and that the demonstrations would stop. In fact, Ali Abdullah Saleh understands the situation of the Yemenis, and he supports them without standing against them. Thus, we would like to thank the Gulf initiative that has proved that they are really Muslims and that they want the wellbeing of their Muslim brothers.

  • عيدان


    I swear to God that Yemen is one of the poor countries which have suffered greatly and the Yemeni government has afflicted the people a great deal by killings and constant beatings. I think that the Yemenis have been affected by the situation a lot, and now they want to lead a free and happy life. People are suffering from the high prices and instability in the country, and the high prices cause concern to the poor citizens, who are very tired and who are going through a very difficult situation. I believe the peoples must take action to get Yemen out of this situation. I want to say that Yemen will never again recover if the situation remains as it is. The suffering of the people has increased, as the women, children and the elderly are dying of hunger and diseases, and dozens of children are dying because of many diseases and unclean water, as well as the lack of attention from the officials.

  • عبدالحميد السلطان


    The Yemeni people do not want Ali Saleh, because he has destroyed Yemen and made it the home of backwardness, poverty and disease, as he always repeats boastfully in his chattering. I would like to say to those who want it to stay, please give a chance to change, because we have gotten tired of this man who has been killing us, violating our honor, and stealing our money for over 33 years, along with his corrupt ilk. They will be punished in this world and in the hereafter, for what they have done to our dear home. We are ready to sacrifice our souls to defend our home, until we free it of tyranny and corruption

  • ماجد الحاج


    I believe that the Gulf Initiative does not meet the aspirations or demands of the Yemeni youth, because it does not include the immediate departure of Ali Saleh.

  • عبدالصبور علي


    The Gulf initiatives that were meant to solve the crisis in Yemen should be up to the responsibility. They should work on putting an end to what is going on. All the Arab countries must effectively participate, in order to solve the problem resulting from the massive demonstrations. The citizens are calling for their denied rights because they are suffering from extreme poverty, unemployment, homelessness and neediness, because the government is not working appropriately. Therefore, the Gulf initiatives must contribute to solving this conflict. They must put an end to the suffering of the Yemenis and provide them with all the necessities which are considered to be their rights. They must work on these issues quickly, in order not to aggravate the situation and make it unsolvable. For this reason, the initiatives must at least partially solve the issues in the interest of the Yemeni people, who are asking for their legitimate rights.

  • وليد محمد الظفيري


    We oppose the bloodshed and the rampancy of corruption, and we demand that the president prosecute all the ministers, so they will be asked about the sources of their wealth and properties, in order to restore the looted money to the treasury of the state and eliminate all the rumors in this regard. The government structure must be changed to include youth and reformists, until we organize new elections and take the route of democracy and legitimacy. We should also open the door to investment and ban bribery, in addition to imposing severe penalties against the public officials who take bribes. In short, we need reform.

  • قيصر


    We ask God to protect Yemen and save our leader Ali Abdullah Saleh and the opposition. We ask God to guide them and save Yemen from all unrest. Someone who loves his homeland. By the way, the opposition has lost many chances.

  • فرسان القاضي


    We need to be reasonable and wise when handling the current situation, and we have to set all our disagreements and personal interests aside. We should give precedence to the interests of our homeland and its future, and offer all the necessary concessions to achieve national unity safe from chaos and sabotage.

  • احمد


    Excuse me; this controversy is shameful and groundless. Apart from those who benefit from both parties, we have to admit that the corrupt regime for 33 years means that the opposite was corruption too, over the 33 years. We have to stay away from all those who destroyed Yemen in both parties, and we should build Yemen depending on these fresh minds that have sacrificed their souls for the sake of Yemen. These are the hands that deserve to rule us and we should keep away from all those who want to interfere between us. We know our problems better and we know how to solve them.

  • أبو زياد جده


    O God! Protect Yemen from all evils and unite the Yemenis around the truth. Amen. O God! Protect the leader, Marshal brother/ Ali Abdullah Saleh from all evils and shield him perfectly. O God! Provide him with victory over the enemies of Yemen and those who are allied with them. Amen, O Lord of the Worlds. O God! Protect our Yemen from all evils. A lover of Yemen.

  • حسين


    Yemen must be a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council. It is unfair not to allow Yemen to be a member! Greetings.

  • العسائ


    Yemen is more precious than all the personal interests, but reform is needed and inevitable.

  • ماجد المقبلي


    I call on the youth of the revolution not to be tools in the hands of the opposition. You have to set a goal and seek to achieve it until the government falls. Do not allow the opposition to rule under any circumstances, because the opposition parties seek power, and we should not allow them to get it.

  • ابو عبدالله


    We welcome the initiative with some important conditions, especially the fall and prosecution of the regime, and all parties have to recognize the revolution. This means that they should not treat us like opposition parties. The revolution erupted to depose this regime, and we will do this. The Yemeni revolution is no less significant than the other revolutions worldwide. God will provide the people with victory.

  • عبدالغنس


    May God provide Ali Abdullah Saleh with victory. Go forward!

  • اصيل عريب


    I am Asil Arib and I would like to thank President Saleh.

  • نهى


    I want to comment and say that, regardless of the demands of the youth in the Change Arenas, we always have to protect Yemen, and Yemen must always be first and above everything.

  • حسان العميسى


    All the speeches of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, from the beginning of the revolution until today, are full of wisdom and logic. He never abused anyone or any opposition party. On the other hand, the brothers in the opposition do not have the manners in dialogue when they speak with the mass media. Whatever happens, we must remember that he is the legitimate ruler. The day will come when we search for Ali Abdullah Saleh to save Yemen from the internal fighting that will occur between the opposition parties over wealth and power. Every one of them tries to introduce himself as the hero of the revolution who deserves to rule, but I swear that there will be a bloodbath in the future. Even if they agreed for a while, they will fight each other, and then all people would realize the value of Ali Abdullah Saleh and what he offered to the people of Yemen. You should realize that he is the best Yemeni ruler. When Saddam left, the Iraqis regretted their hastiness in judging him. Look at Baghdad today, and make a comparison between its condition today and its condition under the ruler Saddam. My advice to you is to think carefully and give precedence to the interests of Yemen, because it will not be as you see today. Rather, it would be a barren and devastated land that is full of criminal gangs and warring factions. The people will regret losing their leader. I want to make you realize this before it happens. I am afraid for the future of this country, so do not belittle my words, and this is a lesson that all readers should contemplate carefully. My best regards.

  • مصطفي عبدالمعز مصري


    Peace be upon you…. O people of Yemen, you have been called the people who have wisdom and faith, so do not make the whole world rejoice at your misfortunes. Your Egyptian brother who lives in Saudi Arabia. Thanks.

  • محمد


    I want everyone to avoid overgeneralizing when expressing his opinion, such as saying: "We, the Yemeni people…". Speak only for yourself.

  • محمد


    Dear Nassir, you are the only one who wants Ali Saleh. So do not speak in the name on the Yemenis.

  • محمد الخولانى


    The opposition and the ruling party in Yemen are useless. May God help Yemen. Thank you.

  • الشميري


    The government is like a dog barking, and the people are like a camel calling for help.

  • فارس زليل


    We absolutely support Abu Ahmad!

  • ميمى


    The president is a human being and he plays an important role in development. The presidents are being replaced all over the world, and this is the essence of democracy. We thank all the presidents who have worked in order to achieve the interests of their people and homelands. We ask God to protect and help our dear homeland, so that we may live comfortably.

  • ابراهيم الحبيشي


    Dear brothers, the issue is very different from anything that you can imagine. The president spent 33 years in authority. Can you tell me what he did during these years? Why are you so sorry for his departure as if he is the only man in Yemen? Where are security, justice, democracy, and human rights? Where are the administrative reforms? What were his achievements during these long years? Nothing, dear brothers. They just stole land and undermined security. These are mere lies. Do you not notice that we are worse off than Oman and many other countries, which once were worse than Yemen? You became beggars everywhere.

  • نبض اليمن


    First, I ask God to protect Yemen. Second, the Yemeni people are generous and faithful, and they cannot be ungrateful towards those who offered them any favor.

  • الشريفي


    We ask God to provide us with victory over the enemies of Yemen and to save us from the unrest. We ask God only to save us.

  • طه


    We hope that the Arab states and peoples will be deliberate and look into the important internal affairs. We need to pay attention to the future, and the rulers must provide their peoples with all services and achievements. We need this in order to strengthen our unity and make progress. I ask God to bless all the Arab and Islamic nations, and peace be upon you….

  • الازرق من امسلاميه


    We will get out of this crisis soon, because we do not need chaos or corruption in the country. We support unity, not separation. We do not want to turn back. We all remember what happened in ’86, and we have forgotten all of what happened then because of the unity.

  • ماجد المقبلي


    We ask God to help Yemen and have mercy upon His slaves, as His mercy has encompassed everything.

  • ماجد الحاج


    I see that the Gulf Initiative does not satisfy the needs and aspirations of the Yemeni youth, because it does not call for the immediate departure of Ali.

  • اليافعي


    Peace be upon you…. This idea appealed to me very much, and I liked it. However, we know that Ali is a fox. We thank the youth of the revolution in our dear country. I support you and I am ready to sacrifice my soul and money to protect you. Go forward, O revolutionaries of Yemen.

  • عباد محمد العنسي


    The change is a popular demand of all the people of Yemen, but this should never take place according to the agenda of the opposition that wants to seize power. The change must take place through the ballot boxes that the people have chosen as a means for choosing those who will rule them. We are in urgent need for real political reforms and fair elections that represent the people’s will.

  • أسمعني ياجني


    Where are the security, democracy, justice and human rights? Where are the administrative reforms? He has been ruling us for 33 years. What has he done? What you are mentioning is worthless, dear brother. They have robbed the land of Al-Zayud and we have not enjoyed security or stability. These are lies within lies.

  • kh_alemad


    The Yemeni president wants to solve all issues wisely, without violence. He does not want any bloodshed, despite the fact that the malicious conspiracy of the opposition is very clear. They refuse to enter into a dialogue, despite all the concessions that were made by the president.

  • عبد االله


    Everything that will happen is good, God willing. We ask God to take revenge upon all those who are behind the problems in Yemen. We wish that President Ali Abdullah Saleh, may God keep him safe, would step down from authority without any further bloodshed. In such a case, we will thank him for his achievements and services to the people. We want to unite the people. I want to send a message to Hamid Al-Ahmar: we do not want anyone from the tribe of Al-Ahmar in power, because they are responsible for what is happening to the country.

  • سمير الزراف


    May God bless the Gulf States, and well-done to the opposition.

  • صلا ح نصر محلل سياسي


    We welcome any initiative to solve the Yemeni crisis, but the truth is that this issue is to solve the case of the South that they ignore amidst all this. Where are the Arabs and Saudi Arabia? Solving the case of the South is the only solution to the Yemeni crisis.

  • اروى عقيل


    Peace be upon you…. First, I would like to say that the youth revolution is a great achievement through which the youth proved that they are determined to speak the truth in the face of the oppressive tyrant. As for the claim that the unity of Yemen is among the achievements of the president, I think this is absurd and those who repeat this are fools and mentally retarded, because they have closed their eyes, so as not to see the truth. All Yemenis must realize that the revolution erupted after many years of suffering and humiliation as well as good living. As for those who allege that Saleh is the only ruler who can lead the homeland, they have sick minds and they are not true patriots. They do not believe that Yemen has the best men who can lead our beloved Yemen. Ali Abdullah Saleh is not sacred; he is an ordinary man who climbed over the shoulders of the free people and monopolized authority for his personal affairs. He tried to make the people believe that he was a sincere and honest protector of this home, while he did nothing that deserves to be a source of pride for all of us. As for the unity, it took place by the will of the people rather by his own will. Wake up, O heedless people, because the day will come when it will be too late to regret. Peace be upon you….

  • أحمد الشومي - كعيدنة


    I think victory has appeared in the horizon and will arrive very soon. But I wonder whose victory is this ... It is that of those who are loyal to the Homeland.. Victory cannot be achieved unless sacrifices are made for the sake of the Homeland.

  • ندى


    There is no power except with God the Almighty. O God! Protect Yemen on all sides and whoever tries to harm Yemen, afflict him with disasters and make his conspiracies turn against him.

  • ابوعزام


    We thank Al-Shorfa for the introduction that it offered, and we thank the Gulf leaders, especially Saudi Arabia, which always seeks to unite the Arabs. We wish that the leaders would continue their efforts until the end of this crisis. We also call on the ruler of Yemen to make concessions for the sake of the people and the Yemeni homeland.

  • ناصر


    We, the Yemenis, want Ali Abdullah Saleh, because he achieved security in the country and he built the new modern Yemen despite the spiteful personalities, who have personal aspirations, such as Hamid Al-Ahmar and his ilk, and Ali Muhsin. The Yemenis are fighting over the office. Those two men have killed many Yemenis in Sa‘dah and they are warlords. They appeared in the most cowardly way, and they know nothing about God or His Prophet, peace be upon him. We seek God’s help against them and their corrupt ilk, such as Hamid Al-Qashibi, who plundered Imran’s camp, which was full of weapons, and he supported the Houthis. This is very strange, because they are war lords and traitors.

  • الحميرى


    In fact, Saudi Arabia has long played a leading role in solving Arab problems in general, and those of Yemen in particular. The support for Yemen goes back to the reign of King Abdul Aziz ibn Abd al-Rahman, may God have mercy upon him. The Saudi call for Ali Abdullah Saleh and the revolutionaries is wise, and all the parties should respond to the call of reason and wisdom from the Saudi brothers, who want peace and love to prevail. They should not miss the opportunity to save the country from division and chaos. Peace be upon you….