Absenting himself from Damascus Summit, Mr. President killed his initiative [Archives:2008/1144/Opinion]

April 7 2008

Anisa Mohammed Othman
Undoubtedly, President Ali Abdullah Saleh learned that the United States would not welcome or accept his initiative via which he hosted Hamas and the Palestinian Authority delegates in Sana'a as part of his efforts to conciliate between both conflicting sides and bring them together.

President Saleh, who once declared that he would attend Damascus Summit, suddenly mandated Vice President Abdurrabu Mansour Hadi to attend the event instead of him because the U.S. Administration was unsatisfied with his initiative. It is the U.S. Administration that buried alive the Mecca Agreement between Fatah and Hamas.

The Yemeni initiative to conciliate between the two Palestinian conflicting movements was killed before its ink dried up. It was killed for the second time when Mr. President absented himself from the Damascus Summit held for the same purpose of Saleh's initiative.

We don't know why Saleh didn't attend the Damascus Summit to defend his own initiative, as well as work with those who attended the event on activating and studying his initiative, and add what may ensure its implementation. No one believes that Saleh's absented himself from the event because of the U.S. position, particularly as the Yemeni leader declared more than once that his relation with the United States is based on hostility.

Where did such 'hostility' go and what about its fate? The one who makes an initiative has to do his best to convince opponents that his initiative is serious to achieve its sought-after goals. Saleh should rather told his opponents that his initiative contains workable terms aimed at paving the way for establishing the Palestinian State, which the U.S. President George Bush is dreaming of in his last year of service in the White House. Otherwise, international observers and analysts may understand that Saleh made such an initiative to remind the outside world that Yemen has an authority.

As Yemeni people, we are in an urgent need of such initiatives to resolve the pressing and accumulating problems plaguing our country. We need a good initiative to begin tackling bread crisis and the turmoil in South Yemen. Non one dare blame our brothers in South Yemen for denying that there is a unity, particularly as they once proved more adherent to the unity than we did.

The fault doesn't lie within the unity, but within those who manipulate, misinterpret and exploit “Unity” to serve their personal interests. They make out of the unity a divine and exalted concept in public but exploit it in favor of their own interests in private.

If the country leaders, claiming to be adherent to the unity, care about survival of the national unity – however they failed to meet people's expectations, they must quit power in order for the unity to survive. This is not a shame. But, by doing so (quitting power), they will prove to the outside world that they do care about and love their homeland unity.

Source: Al-Wasat Weekly