Press TV has conducted an interview with Saab Shaath, a political analyst, from Belfast, about the situation in Yemen where Houthi protesters and pro-government militia have agreed to halt fighting.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
Press TV: Our guest Dr. Qubaty (former advisor to Yemeni PM) puts a lot of hope in the NDC’s results as well as in the fact that the UN envoy was able to come to this agreement between the Houthis and the government. How do you feel about that – are you optimistic at all?
Shaath: We have to see why the whole thing has happened to begin with before we can be optimistic or pessimistic about it.
As your report mentioned the way in Mr. Hadi came to power was through the Gulf or the Saudi initiative – it was mainly the Saudis. And then we see who took power – this is my own opinion – the ones who seized power after that deposing Abdullah Saleh were the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood’s political parties, Islah Party or others.
After that we noticed how the Western powers were blessing that when they awarded Tawakkol Karman the Nobel Peace Prize. That shows they are blessing the Muslim Brotherhood to take control of politics in Yemen and their affairs and we see that extended from Tunisia to Libya to Egypt.
The whole thing changed when the Muslim brotherhood’s experience in ruling Egypt collapsed under the protests; and General Sisi targeted them and started a war with the Muslim Brotherhood.
Then Saudi Arabia supported the General Sisi. That support created a new war in the region against the Muslim Brotherhood, which is Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States – apart from Qatar – is supporting.
That is the drive, the financial support, which the government in Yemen was receiving and the Muslim Brotherhood-run government. So they worked with this government and the political parties pressured neighboring countries and all the Western countries who brokered that deal as well to waiver the four billion in debt which was burdening the Yemeni government.
They turned to the people from Yemen and canceled the fuel subsidies and stuff like that – they burdened the people of Yemen with lots of trouble while the bordering states like Saudi Arabia started heavily meddling in their affairs.
That is the trigger.
I see a solution to that and I’m being optimistic. First of all, if President Hadi has to build the bridges of trust to start with – with the people… because this is a new revolution and this revolution is continuing even as they receive live bullets against them.
This revolution can resolve all the issues when there is respect shown to the people by sacking this corrupt government of Yemen, which is in power.
Secondly, install a government, which can chose to be really interested in providing sevices to the people, not to the privileged few or to foreign powers.
As well – as my colleague (Dr. Qubaty) mentioned – to bring back the subsidies for fuel and all the rest to lift the burden from the people of Yemen and to ensure there is a mechanism in place to guarantee the future. These all have to be safeguarded.
Press TV: President Hadi has tried, at least on paper, to bring reforms in. He has tried to reshape and decentralize the political system by creating those six regions that would each be given greater powers to satisfy the divisions within the country.
He has also said that he would dismiss the government and even review the fuel subsidies and requirements of the Houthis movement.
And also as Dr. Qubaty mentioned the National Dialogue Conference was hailed as a victory as well, so… where has he gone wrong exactly?
Shaath: This man was put in after charismatic leader Abdullah Saleh and he was in his shadow. His roots are from the south of Yemen and he was running the south of Yemen and the people of the south have been revolting against him. That tells us who is running the show in Yemen.
Today Yemen officials are talking about scores of al-Qaeda militants have moved into Yemen’s capital Sana’a. Who is behind deploying these al-Qaeda around the protester’s camps? Some of them are targeting the protesters.
To remind the viewers and with this they may get some ideas about the situation… Last week a military source told the Yemeni news agency that the majority of al-Qaeda militants killed in the army of Eurasia and Iraq at the time were Saudis – Some of them were Afghanis, Somalis and Chechens, but the majority were Saudis. This can pin-point the finger of who is meddling in Yemen affairs; who is trying to sabotage the Yemeni revolution from handing power to a sovereign nation.
Let’s not forget as well that this al-Qaeda in Yemen is one of the most dangerous branches of al-Qaeda in the region.
Did we hear anyone from the international community or even from the Yemeni state trying to probe into the killing of these protesters? No. so I want to mention here a big title that Saudi Arabia executes what the United States need and wants. And this is the major player in Yemen, Saudi Arabia.
Press TV: Many people say the Yemeni revolution still continues. Do you also agree with that?
Shaath: Yes indeed I agree with that. This is a phase of the Yemeni revolution. Civil disobedience is on a huge scale; massive protests against the government – even despite the shooting of the protesters.
The protesters are pressing for the government of Hadi to quit. If only the demands of protesters are met, which represents the nationwide interests of the people of Yemen, then we can see a settlement and the revolution can take a more peaceful curve than confronting the state and the army and the terrorists at the same time – because the people are willing to go that far to implement change in Yemen.