Al-Moayad and the financial crisis:Two serious tests before our government [Archives:2008/1200/Opinion]

October 20 2008

By: Nashwan Al-Sumairi
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The cause of Sheikh Mohammed Al-Moayyad and the global financial crisis constitute two real challenges facing the Yemeni government. The first issue tests how successful and strong Yemen's foreign policy is in negotiating with the west and bringing home its detained citizens. The second tests how able the Yemeni government's economic policy is to overcome the worst problems at the level of its national economy and people's living conditions.

Yemeni citizens have been experiencing remarkably poor living standards since their purchasing power begin to decline. Additionally, they have been unable to afford the minimum costs of living.

A golden opportunity is now available before the Yemeni government to bring home its citizens, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Moayyad and his companion Mohammed Zayed, who would have lost forever if trust in the American judiciary had not been restored.

With a scant glimpse of hope that began to expand as we learned about the government's interest in this issue, we realized that the ball was in the field of Yemen's foreign policy. This is considered as a real test before the government, thereby testing its ability to deal with an attainable matter, securing the release of the detained pair to correct a terrible mistake, committed as part of the efforts of fighting terrorism that were unwisely directed by the outgoing U.S. President George W. Bush.

There are many serious challenges facing efforts to achieve the ambitions of the two families and millions of Yemenis, who are hoping for a warm homecoming for Al-Moayyad and Zayed. Such challenges are expected to appear because the American court's verdict to release both Yemeni citizens coincided with a great attention paid by the current U.S. Administration and other political elites to the currently inflaming electoral battle in the U.S.

Another obstacle is that the current U.S. Administration and politicians in the western nation are shifting their attention toward addressing a financial turmoil that may lead to an unprecedented collapse of both the American and global economies. The situation may help exacerbate challenges facing Yemeni government's efforts in this regard.

An ultimate challenge

However, we are still hopeful that Yemen may take the wise route and do its best to overcome the crisis peacefully. Time is running out with the 14-day period in which the U.S. General Attorney approves whether or not to file the case once again before the U.S. courts. This will constitute the ultimate challenge.

The other serious test is no longer possible to ignore. By this, we mean effects of the global financial turmoil on the Yemeni economy. We suppose that economic decision-makers in Yemen have formed a strong committee to hold regular meetings to confront any potential harm to our economy that may occur as a result of declining interest rates in the global stock markets, banks and other financial institutions.

It is now that we side with the earlier opinion that opposed establishing a stock market in Yemen.

This opinion is based on the fact that Yemen lacks the necessary components to establish a stock market.

There are numerous benefits related with an ailing economy, which we don't know. The most prominent of these benefits is that the majority of us (Yemeni people) didn't have the misfortune of losing money, which stock market speculators would have lost if Yemen had had a stock market.