Chairman of the Al-Jazera and Al-khaleej Center for Studies, Mr. Ahmad Mohammed Abdulghani, to the YT: “The center is opening new horizons for dialogue and enhancing the mutual trust among the countries of the Region” [Archives:2001/39/Interview]
Al-Jazera and Al-Khaleej Center of Studies is a private and scientific non-profit institution. The center is the first Yemeni specialized center concerned with the issues in the region as the Gulf countries and Arabia. Its main aim is to direct efforts for the sake of the Yemeni issues and the issues in the Gulf and Arabia. It also concentrates on the specialized affairs related to the center. Jalal Al-Sharaabi, Managing Editor of the Yemen Times, met with Mr. Ahmad Mohammed Abdulghani, chairman of the center and filed the following interview:
Q:What does the center represent?
A: This can be discussed from different stanpoints: The first one is that the center is the first Yemeni specialized center concerning with the issues in the region as the Gulf and Arabia. The second one is that it coincides with the international, regional, and local changes. These changes have to be carefully studied and analyzed. This entails inducting its indications, reflections and its consequences on the whole situations. The third one is that the Yemeni-Gulf relations have entered a new phase, particularly after the signing the Yemeni-Saudi border treaty in June last year, 2000, and the breakthrough in the Kuwaiti-Yemeni relations.
Q: What are the main objectives of the center?
A: The main objectives of the center can be summed up as follows:
Reviewing the political, social, economical, and cultural conditions in the RY.
Discussing the political and cultural issues between Yemen and other countries in the region as the Gulf countries and Arabia. This will open new horizons for dialogue and enhancing the mutual trust among the countries.
Deepening the relations among the countries of the Gulf, Arabia and the international and regional blocs, in addition to reviewing the progress and its consequences on the political, economical, and strategic arena in the region.
Discussing the general freedoms, human rights and press freedom.
Taking great interest in woman’s issues and environment and health issues.
Contributing to consolidate the means of keeping in touch with other human cultures.
Q: How do you evaluate the Yemeni-Gulf relations?
A: The Arabia and the Gulf is a geographical and regional unity. Thus, the relationship between Yemen and the other countries in the region is not only a friendly relationship, but also neighboring relationships. Neighborhood is a necessary thing. Consequently, the neighbors whatever they are, should look for the possible ways in order to strengthen and enhance the mutual co-operations. If we think a little better of the Yemeni-Gulf relations in the past, despite of the obstacles that it has encountered, we see that the relations have been on the right track. The relations between Yemen and the Gulf countries have been strongly established. If we look back to the history, we see that the friction crises, which occasionally occurred, can be ascribed only to external factors rather than internal. Undoubtedly, all of us realize the horrible consequences particularly left behind the war. Without exception, all the countries of the region encounter a lot of internal and external problems and challenges. This entails the uniting of efforts for the sake of cooperation and making use of the different potentials owned by the countries in the region. Yemen by itself has the human resources for the Gulf and the Arabia. Yemen has ranked first in the international trade in the past during the discovery of the Cape of Hope. With the increase of the strategic location of the region as a result of the huge opulence, Yemen could contribute to its neighboring countries to encounter any crises because of its strategic location on the Arab Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. It is the passageway for the Arabia towards the Horn of Africa.
Q: What about Yemen’s joining to the GCC?
A: I think the general atmosphere is that Yemen has tried to become a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) according to the aforementioned reasons. The prevailing atmosphere is that the there are some fears, which still found in the past and the era of post-cold war during the collapse of the Socialism. In fact, the matter of joining Yemen to the GCC is from only one side, Yemen is importune in this aspect. If the gulf countries think thoroughly over the future of Yemen joining the GCC, they will realize that matter is more important than Yemenis think. I think if Yemen joins the GCC, it will be easier for the council to activate the role of the council in accordance with the local, regional, and international changes. It seems for the intellectuals in the gulf to deal clearly with Yemen’s joining to the GCC.
Q: Finally, what does the center intend to do in the nearest future?
A: We are about to hold a symposium concerning on the Yemen-American relationship in cooperation with the weekly Yementimes Newspaper. Of course, there are arrangements to hold several symposiums revolving around the bilateral Yemeni-Gulf relations. Actually, the efforts, which are exerted by the center, concentrate on the establishment of integral bases of information as a foundation of research work.
Q: In this respect, why do you concentrate specifically on the Yemeni-American relationship?
A: Of curse, the Yemeni-US relationship represents the cornerstone in Yemen’s foreign policy particularly in this critical and sensitive period aftermath the USS Cole bombing accident. This symposium coincides with the President visit to USA. Of course, the Yemeni-US relations has a great impact on the Yemeni-Gulf relations.