SANA’A, Oct. 09 (Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh has held a meeting with parliamentarians who came to congratulate him on the anniversaries of the Yemeni revolutions; the 49th anniversary of the 26 September Revolution and the 48th anniversary of the 14 October Revolution, the 44th anniversary of the Independence Day, and also on his return to the homeland after medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.
The following speech was delivered by President Saleh in his meeting with members of the parliament and the Shoura Council in Sana’a.
Dear members of the Parliament and the Shoura Council, congratulations on the Eid al-Fitr and the 49th anniversary of the September Revolution. I would like first to salute the steadfastness of our official institutions and the civil society organizations in the face of the big conspiracy against the homeland over the past nine months. Our Yemeni people have continued to stand fast. They are strong strugglers. Neither Tunisia nor Egypt and Libya, or any other Arab country has stood fast as our Yemeni people represented in their official institutions and the civil society organizations.
The conspiracy is a big one and the size of the conspiracy is big against this great homeland, the homeland of September and October. We have caused ourselves a problem on 22 May 1990 when we resorted to political and party pluralism. This is a problem both on the internal and external levels. No one has accepted this. Even internally, pluralism is show and go. If this was in my interest, then it is a political and party pluralism, which must be adopted, but if it does not serve my goal, then it is falsehood and slander. This is the situation that we have been suffering from since 22 May.
The conspiracy was not strong, but it escalated over nine months. The conspiracy is big. When they say the president and the family regime, this is a targeting of a political system. How many sons does the president have? How many members in the president's family? How many brothers and grandsons does the president have in the authority? Where are the other 22 million people?
They are deceiving people without knowing that the people have developed, become educated, and have known their goals. The targeting of the president at the Al-Nahdayn Mosque was not a targeting of his person, but this was a targeting of the homeland, principles, and values.
What happened over the past nine months? There is no security, sustained development, or services, and unemployment has increased. This has paralysed development and political and cultural activity in the homeland because they have fabricated this crisis. The crisis was fabricated, and consequently, this has paralysed development, services, and political and social activity. By political here I mean both internally and externally. All the big powers and other powers care for their interests. It is true that we are a democratic and pluralistic country, but follow pluralism. It cares for its interests and not for pluralism, press freedom, for establishing civil society organizations, or the free opinions at the parliament and the Shura Council the mouths of whose members are not muffled. He only cares for his own interests.
Among what is being said, before I return, I received a letter from a big state, in which it said that we advise you not to return to the homeland for your own interest first, for Yemen's interests second, and for our interests third. Where should you go then? I am not a transit president who carries a briefcase. First, I have not been an agent and I am not an agent. I do not receive a salary or a budget from an Arab country or a friendly state. This is out of the question. However, I embraced the principles of the September and October revolutions and 22 May.
I embrace the principles, values, and aspirations of the Yemeni people. As for the Yemeni people's aspirations, since the eruption of their revolution or before the revolution, all Yemenis waged struggle for the sake of restoring their unity. This was the main goal. God be praised, this unity was achieved. This is a great achievement. Therefore, there is envy here, providing internal envy is stronger than the external envy. Many of them have contributed to restoring unity, but because unity was not achieved on their hands, they went back to plot against unity. This is because they have failed completely, whether they are in the north or the south; they are of the same kind. They then resumed their plotting with the plotters to foil this project.
Frankly speaking, since the 1993 elections, plotting has been increasing. It has reached its peak over the past nine months. This plotting was not against me. As for me, I was dead for about 15 days. I had an extra lifetime since the eruption of the revolution. I did not care about death. I do not fear death and I am not annoyed by death because I should have died earlier after the eruption of the revolution, providing life and death are in the hand of Allah, and not in our hands. This is in the hand of the Merciful and Compassionate. We do not fear death, but we fear for the homeland and we are concerned over what is taking place in the homeland.
Let us say that you have bombed the presidential mosque and some people were killed or wounded, but why did you shut down power for the citizens? Why did you blow off the oil pipeline? Why did you attack the military camps in Yafi? Why did you attack the Presidential Guard camp? Why did you attack the Presidential Guard camp in Al-Sam’a? Why did you practice highway robbery? Why did you loot trains? Why did you occupy the Al-Sittin Square? Why a number of people were killed from Hashid and in Taiz and all governorates? Why do you attack citizens in al-Hasabah? Why did you kick them out of their houses? Is this the project? Is this the departure of the former reactionary regime and you are the advocates of the new regime? This is the new project; we will expel you from your houses, close your schools, and deprive you of treatment at your hospitals.
This is the project of these dark forces. I am speaking clearly; the Sanaa university and other universities and institutes are closed. This is the project. I am not speaking out of prejudice because of the injury I and my comrade politicians, particularly struggler Abdul-Aziz Abdul-Ghani as well as many others have sustained.
When I returned from Riyadh I told you that I will not return to retaliate or to bear grudges. I told you that I am carrying an olive branch and a peace dove for the Yemeni people, for anyone who understands this message. They should have understood this message, which was addressed to the people, providing they are a part of the people. They are not the people and we are not the people. They are not the entire people and they are not the entire people. We are all a part of this homeland. Therefore, this message should have been understood; namely, how we should discuss the olive branch and the peace dove with the president.
There is a political organization called the General People's Congress. We know that you mean the president and the GPC. You have talked in your places and during your meetings and said that you will eradicate the GPC and its leaders in the same way the Ba'ath Party was eradicated in Iraq. We will begin gradually with the president and his family. We do not want to use this language. We want to resort to the peace dove and the olive branch. You have closed roads, but what the people and the citizens in neighbourhoods have to do with this? The entire university and al-Hasabah neighbourhoods are paralysed. People cannot go to school, hospitals, or universities. They cannot move because of terrorism. Those who used to hear about terrorism were wondering about the al-Qaeda organization. They used to ask about the description of the al-Qaeda, do they have beards, shaved, wearing trousers. They were wondering about this organization. Come now and go to the al-Zubayri street and the Kentucky roundabout, or al-Hasabah to see how terrorism looks like. Go to the university neighbourhood to see terrorism there. We do not seek authority.
I want to tell the dear brothers in the parliament and the Shura Council that I do not seek authority. I have been trying to get rid of it for more than three years. I wanted to get rid of it in 2006. To say that I was forced to nominate myself is true. However, this is not because the Yemeni people have no men, no, they have men who are more competent, stronger, and braver than me. However, circumstances were not ripe because the people could not believe that the president would get rid of presidency and that this news is unlike any other news. The people have then prepared themselves to elect a president of the state.
Since that day, things were escalating to disturb civil peace and security, not in Sana’a only, but in all governorates, in Taiz, Aden, and Abyan. One of those who rebelled against law and order, who is also a coupist who became mad and has lost his mind, called the military commander in Abyan to tell him to hand Abyan over to the rebels and we will withdraw as al-Qaeda. Where is the US intelligence, which preoccupied us day and night with the issue of monitoring al-Qaeda? Monitor its cells who they are, and who are behind it. This is the situation.
I want first to greet the steadfastness of the members of the Parliament who stood fast and stood firm on their feet, the members of the Shura Council, and the state institutions. How beautiful this crisis is because it has filtered things and refined minerals for us; gold, silver, zinc, and in all colours. It has refined things completely. By God, we have not paid you overtime money, bribed you, paid money to anyone, or promoted anyone. I understand that during the 112 days, which I spent in Riyadh, the acting President was Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi. He has not promoted anyone, paid money to anyone, bribed anyone. He was enforcing law and order. Since you do not want Ali Abdullah Saleh, then why you did not cooperate with Hadi? Why you have shut power down for Abdo Rabbo Hadi? Why did you kidnap citizens? Why did you explode the situation in Abyan? Why did you attack police stations in Aden? Why did you attack the police and security forces in Taiz? Why did you attack the rescue police vehicles in Sumarah? Why? This is the question. Why don't you stick to what you say about the unjust dictator? I would accept all the qualities you have listed. However, for 112 day and Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi is an acting president, why did not you win him to reassure the Yemeni people that if this man holds the reins of power, we will help him because our problem was with the first man. This is to teach you leadership and the art of leadership! Why did not you secure the al-Sittin street? Why did you close roads? Why did you kill innocent people? Why did you kidnap the son of the Taiz governor? Why did you kidnap the son of al-Mutarrib? Why did you kidnap this and that? Why did you loot the Public Prosecution? Why did you loot the headquarters of the Public Prosecution in which there were seized weapons? This is looting then! Why did you loot gold shops in the Hayil street? Is this your future project for this homeland? Is destruction your slogan?
We do not want power. I reject power and I will reject it within the coming days. I will relinquish it. However, there are men who can hold power. There are men who were true to their covenant with God, whether they are civilians or military, who will have control of the homeland. It is impossible for these men to destroy the homeland. I walk with my head in my hand. I cannot walk in al-Hasabah because there is no way. Is this the civilized project? Is it entrenchment and highway robbery? Introduce yourselves to the Yemeni in a gentle way. Introduce yourselves in a good way. You have fabricated sedition in Hajjah and killed innocent people. You have attacked a member of the parliament in his house, beaten him, and killed his men, why? Is this a project?
I am not addressing the parliament and the Shura Council, but I am addressing you as the representatives of the nation. In other words, you represent the nation and the nation is behind you. We are addressing our people. We are addressing the millions of people who gather in public squares. People gather in the Al-Saba'in Square every Friday, who paid them money? Who transported them and who gave them anything? How much is the budget? How much is the state's general reserve? From that day and until today we have run out of everything. These people, however, come to the al-Saba'in Square willingly and out of love of the revolution, security, and stability. This is the homeland of September and October and 22 May. We are not talking for the sake of talking, but we are talking about figures and facts, which are void of falsehood, lies, and propaganda. I tell them through satellite channels to say if I have said a false word through which I sought to deceive the Yemeni people and to reply to me. Is this a project? It is neither a tribal project, nor a civilized, nationalist, or socialist project, or anything. This is revenge against the homeland.
Therefore, I talk to you as representatives of the nation. I thank you. It is a long talk and we can talk about this for hours, but I will cut it short. God willing, we will meet within the next few days in order to put the people in the real picture of what is going on and to explain all developments in the arena in a transparent and open way. We will call on the parliament and the Shura Council to meet.
Once again, I thank the two national institutions, and I once again thank them for their steadfastness. I also thank those who left the institutions because our institutions have become clean of those who infiltrated these institutions. I once again thank those faithful men who stood fast in the army, the security forces, and in the state's legislative, consultative, and executive authorities. I thank those who left our institutions to make them clean. Once again, I greet you and I greet my colleague, brother, and my comrade-in-arms, Acting President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, for his steadfastness, taking into consideration that I know the deceptive ones and the liars who tell him whether you rule or not, they rule from behind you. I know the backbiters and slanderers. However, he is fortified because he is an experienced military commander who is aware of this.
Any leader who comes to power, whoever he maybe, comes with his crew and men. What counts is for the ship to set sail and to be taken to the safe shore. I call on you to continue to stand fast and to be firm and to face an argument with argument in the village, district, town, capital, and everywhere. Let our argument not be restricted to one place, but it should be in all areas and at all state institutions. Once again, I greet you and I thank you. God's peace, mercy, and blessings be upon you.