Dr Jassim Taqui in Riyadh
The crisis in Yemen is heading towards a resolution in compliance with the GCC initiative, which has two main features. First, it calls for the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over power to his vice president Abdo Rabu Mansur Hadi. Second, a national unity government should be formed and headed by the Opposition. This would be a transition government whose task is to holding free and fair elections and handing over power to the elected representatives of the people of Yemen.
In this regard, delegations of the Yemeni government and opposition attended a reconciliation meeting at the headquarter of GCC in Riyadh. The meeting was chaired by Foreign Minister of UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Those who attended the meeting from the government were Mr. Abdo Rabu Mansur Hadi, Advisor of Yemeni President Mr. Abdulkarim Al- Eryani and Deputy Prime Minister for Local Administrative Affairs Mr. Sadik Ameen Abu Ras.
The Opposition was represented by its President Mr. Yaseen Saeed Noman, Mr. Salim Basindwa, chief of the preparation committee for the national dialogue, Secretary General for the Islamic Islah Party Mr. Abdulwahab Al Anisy and Secretary General of Al Haq Party Mr. Hassan Zaid.
Both sides emphasized the peaceful solution to the current crisis in Yemen and expressed adherence to the GCC initiative. They also expressed their respect to the principle of freedom of expression and not to use violence against peaceful and legitimate demands of the people of Yemen and their right to claim freedom, reform, development, democratic change and social justice. Difference, however, remain on the modalities of transfer of power and the time-frame for the stepping down of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who insists that power should be transformed to “ safe hands”. The Opposition, on the other hand wants that President to step down next Friday. The two sides agreed to continue dialogue but did not specify the date of the next round.
It is reliably learnt that the GCC promised to offer Yemen a Marshal Plan for overcoming its economic crisis once the power is transferred peacefully and the turmoil is ended. The GCC is also seriously thinking of admitting Yemen as the seventh member in the Gulf Cooperation Council when peace and stability returned to Yemen.
The GCC urged both sides to resolve their differences very quickly. It promised that the GCC members would invest in Yemen immediately after the transitional phase in order to help Yemen overcome unemployment and economic and social explosions.
The GCC initiative aims at saving Yemen from regression and deterioration during the transitional period and enable it to turn to real democratic environment.