Pressure builds on Yemeni parties to reach a settlement

President Saleh is still in Saudi Arabia recuperating from his wounds suffered in an attack in early June. [Khaled Abdullah/Reuters]

President Saleh is still in Saudi Arabia recuperating from his wounds suffered in an attack in early June. [Khaled Abdullah/Reuters]

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Saudi officials are intensifying efforts to broker an agreement between the Yemeni government and the opposition that would guarantee a peaceful transition of presidential power based on the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) initiative, Yemeni officials told A-Shorfa.

Saudi Arabia announced its intention to broker a political agreement to resolve the crisis in Yemen before August 15th, Abdul Hafeez al-Nahari, vice president of the Media Department for the ruling Congress Party, told Al-Shorfa.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Wednesday (August 10th) that the ruling General People's Congress Party is committed to finding a solution to the nation's political impasse with the opposition, according to a report published by Saba, the official news agency. He also stressed the importance of working with the GCC initiative to ensure a peaceful transition of power in accordance with the constitution.

Saleh is currently in Riyadh recovering from injuries he sustained during an attack on the presidential palace June 3rd.

The president met with several state officials and advisers in Riyadh where they discussed ways to implement the GCC initiative in response to growing pressure from Arab and international officials to end the political deadlock. The initiative called for Saleh to resign, transfer authority to the vice president and hold elections within 60 days of leaving office.

Saleh met Dr. Abdul Karim al-Ariani, his political adviser, and Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, second deputy of the ruling Party and foreign minister in the caretaker government. Also present were the prime minister and the speaker of the parliament who were also injured during the attack on the presidential compound and are receiving treatment in Saudi Arabia.

The Yemeni officials discussed the country's political, economic, and security situations and the statement issued by UN Security Council Tuesday which called on Yemen's political parties to begin negotiating and renounce violence.

Al-Nahari told Al-Shorfa that all political parties acknowledge that the mechanism of implementation of the GCC initiative is not appropriate because of the current political situation. He added that the two-month period for holding a presidential election as stipulated in the initiative is also inappropriate.

"The ruling Party adheres to its constitutional rights and to Saleh as president until 2013 in accordance with the constitution in the event an agreement is not reached with the opposition," he said.

Al-Nahari said the ruling Party wants to amend the initiative to first transfer authority to the vice president who would hold the title of honorary president until a new president is elected through competitive elections administered by a national consensus government.

Sultan al-Atwani, a leader of the opposition Joint Meeting Parties, told Al-Shorfa the opposition is tired of hearing talk about an imminent political settlement to the crisis.

He added, "Our position is clear. We will not begin a dialogue with the ruling Party unless there is a full transition of power from the president to the vice president in accordance with the Gulf initiative signed by the ruling Party and the Joint Meeting Parties which stipulated that negotiations would be for the purpose of setting the stage for the transition phase."

Naif al-Qanis, a Joint Meeting Parties leader, told Al-Shorfa, "Acceptance by the Joint Meeting Parties of any amendment to the Gulf initiative would be a betrayal of the blood of the martyrs who died during the popular revolution. If the Joint Meeting Parties does that, it would forfeit whatever popularity it has left even among its own members."

Al-Qanis said the Joint Meeting Parties announced its intention to convene the founding meeting of the National Assembly on August 17th. He said the assembly "would be the national custodian of the people's revolution and would choose from among its members a National Council to lead the revolution, complete the process of revolutionary and fundamental change, and meet the aspirations of the Yemeni people for a modern civil state of law, order, and equal citizenship".

Abdo al-Jundi, deputy information minister, said during a Wednesday press conference that the proposed National Council is a declaration of war on existing constitutional institutions because it creates a state within a state and will plunge the country into civil war.

Al-Jundi said the Joint Meeting Parties bears responsibility for the consequences of the council's founding. He said it would be "the spark that would ignite a civil war in Yemen," adding, "it would be stillborn, like the rest of the councils that were announced previously", a reference to the transitional council announced by the preparatory committee of the peaceful youth revolution in mid-July.

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    نهال

    2011-9-18

    We all support the king and the leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh. And we want to elect his courageous son, Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh. In fact, we will not accept the mercenaries ruling Yemen. These mercenaries have no place among us and in this land. Thus, may God curse these mercenaries and traitors. We support Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh. And these traitors will not achieve their objective or their intentions, whatever it costs. Thus, we will see in the Square and in the elections, who will elect these mercenaries? I swear you will not raise your flag.

  • شيلير

    2011-9-18

    Those with live consciences have to know that what is going on in Yemen is not the way the media depicts it, as though it is similar to the revolutions taking place in Arab countries against tyrants. The situation is totally different and it needs more reflection and insight, and this prejudiced president has to be done justice, because he didn’t desecrate his governance by torturing the opposition, raping women, terrorizing people and imprisoning other people for their opinions, or putting them underground, away from the sun for decades, like others in many Arab regimes.

  • بندر حاكم

    2011-9-18

    The Yemeni people have to conclude their revolution now. The Joint Meeting, Saleh, those with Saleh and the initiative are all against the revolution, and they figured out how to foil the revolution through the initiative from under the table.

  • قصي

    2011-9-18

    Yemen is falling apart. Every reasonable person has to use this reason. This man... and his family, the Ahmar family; O God, keep them all away from Yemen and rid us of them. Rightly guide Yemen and keep the Yemenis away from Qat, so that the affairs of the country and its people would be straightened out and so that corruption would be reduced.

  • 53543453

    2011-9-6

    A solution has to be found for the crisis in Yemen. I don’t want us to see what is happening in Libya, for example, being repeated in Yemen, which is exactly what is going to happen if the conflict continues and turns from a peaceful political conflict and peaceful protests into armed demonstrations and clashes between the protestors and the army and security forces. This will lead to a disaster. As such, a solution must be found through allowing parties to come into the equation to exert pressure on the two sides, which is what the Arab brothers should do. I’m grateful to the Saudi initiative, through which Saudi Arabia declared that it will come up with another solution and political agreement to resolve the crisis in Yemen, because the crisis has been going on there for months without a change and conditions have become very bad and unbearable in the country, due to instability and retardation in work, and because life is practically at a standstill, because of the demonstrations and because of the regime’s practices on the one hand, and the terrorist al-Qaeda organization on the other hand. This organization showed its true colors quickly to declare its presence in Yemen. The risks are real today, and they require a peaceful solution to lead the country out of this crisis, through exerting pressure over the two parties of the opposition and the government, so they will reach an agreement and sit together to discuss the ideas and the proposals that will persuade both parties and that serve the interests of Yemen and the people, and not the interests of any one of the parties in particular. The political role of civilized dialogue has to be activated before things get out of control and before Yemen turns into a country where different sects fight, because then everyone will be sorry.

  • سمر عزيز

    2011-9-1

    All Yemeni parties need more international pressure in order for Yemen and its people to figure out the suitable solutions through which Yemenis can overcome this crisis which is sweeping through their country with the fewest possible losses. Therefore, I support all the pressure exerted by some countries of the world, including Arab countries, including the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, or GCC, that took many steps to ease the tension between the Yemeni people and its leadership through the initiative they started. In my opinion, Yemen cannot remain like this, given this state of changing tides that we are witnessing today. How long will the Yemeni people’s fate remain in danger because of these conditions and due to the clashes between protestors and the Yemeni security forces that claim the lives of tens of innocent civilians, or even members of the Yemeni police and army forces? The existence and continuation of such a difficult situation could not be accepted by anyone, especially the Yemeni people who cannot tolerate the continuation of these conditions the way they are today. As such, pressure has to be further exerted on the Yemeni government and the opposition figures as well, in order to push them to negotiate so that they can reach suitable solutions that satisfy both parties to the conflict and that help in moving Yemen and its people forward to the shore of safety that we hope they will reach. The international community and the Arab countries as well have a moral obligation towards Yemen, where innocent blood is being shed. As such, all these countries have to exert political pressure on all the parties involved in the conflict in Yemen, so that there would be real pressure on these parties to end this conflict and this crisis. This crisis affected the Yemeni economy and made Yemeni citizens suffer through very difficult conditions, due to unemployment and the increase in prices in the Yemeni markets, which affected the security situation through the terrorist organizations’ exploitation of the ongoing conditions in Yemen, and through extending their influence over some Yemeni cities, such as the situation now in Abyan governorate. This governorate has many members of the terrorist al-Qaeda organization. Therefore, we support the increase of pressure on the Yemeni parties in order to reach suitable solutions to get out of the crisis as soon as possible.

  • sharbeen

    2011-8-25

    There has to be a conclusive and radical solution so things will be resolved in Yemen, and the situation cannot remain as it is there. In my personal opinion, the Yemeni parties have to reach an agreement to resolve and settle their conflicts. Of course I encourage increasing pressure on the Yemeni parties in order to reach a final solution. Saudi Arabia declared its determination to come up with an agreement and to find a political solution to resolve the Yemeni crisis. Yemen should not remain like this, and we don’t want things to get more complicated. Instead, we want there to be heroic stances through which Yemen will become a country living a dignified life. Saudi Arabia is right, because it wants to put the Yemeni people at ease and it wants oppression and corruption to end in the country. The Yemeni people have no connections with the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, and they have to live their lives again and for good and they have to be more assured and comfortable. In my opinion, Yemen needs a very long time to reconstruct itself, and to become a good country with good relations with everyone. I pray to God Almighty for Yemen to become one of the high-ranking countries and to be restored to a better position than the one it was in before. I also pray for conditions to improve there. These pressures on the Yemeni parties have to be thought through to find a quick solution. God willing, we will hear good things in the future.

  • somayaa

    2011-8-25

    As Arabs, we hope that they find a solution to the Yemeni case, because this political unrest that has spread in the Arab region has resulted in many negative effects. They need many years in order to be forgotten or to reconstruct what has been destroyed during this wild storm that has swept the entire Arab region. We are expecting good from the Gulf initiative and the political pressures exerted on the Yemeni president to sign this initiative and resign, so that they can hold a popular election after the transfer of power. We want to overcome and bury the hatchet that burned the land of Yemen and transformed it into a burnt land. Therefore, I am in favor of these pressures exerted on the Yemeni president in order to find a political solution that will appeal to all parties in Yemen.

  • nshwaan

    2011-8-25

    I personally approve of increasing pressure on the Yemeni parties in order to save Yemen from political collapse and loss, because the events in the country are very dangerous and may spread to the entire Arab region. In fact, it is well known that Yemen has been living in a state of political tension and an unstable security situation for several months, because of the presence of a group of terrorists who sneaked into Yemen across its borders in order to destroy it and turn it into a battleground for all warring parties. In fact, terrorists are the ones who have ignited sectarianism among Yemenis, who have been split into supporters and opponents of the policies of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Besides, since sectarian strife has reached its height, many Arab political forces have interfered in order to halt the bloodshed and save the lives of the innocent that have been wasted for no reason. For instance, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has interfered in order to solve this problem and find a satisfactory solution for all parties, so that it will have an impact on the ground. In so doing, we will restore the former situation of Yemen and find a suitable solution for power transition in a smooth way that is away from violence and the policy of bloodshed, which has been followed by many Arab countries where violence has escalated.

  • كريم اسحاق

    2011-8-22

    I’m in favor of the increase of pressures on the Yemeni parties. This is in order to reach a settlement. In fact, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has tried to achieve a political agreement and to solve the Yemeni crisis, especially after the unrest that has taken place in the country and that have led to deterioration. This has also led to the death of many Yemenis, due to the political and economic unrest. In fact, many other fields have been affected by these events, because the Yemeni people have refused the existence of the current government, which has failed to carry out its duty towards the Yemeni people. In fact, the Yemenis’ rights have been violated due to the use of cruel and oppressive methods. Thus, the situation has worsened due to the Yemeni revolution. In fact, Yemenis have been against the existence of the government. That’s why they have called for changing all the members of the current government and for obtaining all their services and violated rights. They have also called for achieving their comfort. Thus, Saudi Arabia has worked to achieve a political agreement in order to solve the Yemeni crisis and to achieve positive, practical and beneficial results. Besides, the Arab countries have seriously tried to solve all the outstanding issues that have raised the Arab people’s anger. Thus, it is important to appoint an official party in order to lead the Arab World. This is in order to work according to specific regulations that will be respected by all people, because its official decisions will solve the outstanding problems between the governments and people in order to calm the Arab street and to restore stability. Thus, all the people will witness significant improvement.

  • ثائر حر

    2011-8-13

    This is not a mere political crisis, but it is a revolution that will change everything. The regime will collapse sooner or later, because the revolutionaries take their strength from Allah The Almighty.