Let’s Keep Our Fingers Crossed [Archives:2001/13/Viewpoint]

March 26 2001

The Summit is probably going to signal two important messages, one at the regional level, and another at the national level. Regarding the message at the regional level, the summit will be an indication on whether the Arab leaders will unite their stands regarding the issues of Iraq and Palestine. On the national level and according to reliable sources, after his return from the summit, President Saleh will start the cabinet reshuffle that he promised. This is why we the Yemenis and Arabs are anxiously waiting for the summit to spellout the future course action at the local and regional levels. This is why we are keeping our fingers crossed.
The statement of the president to bring new blood to the governance and try to get rid of the old crooks still sitting in key positions in the government has generated a lot of optimism regarding possible changes for the better.
Arab leaders should be united in their stand in support of the Palestinian cause and should come out with a resolution that could oblige the USA to put more pressure on the Israeli government to achieve substantial progress in the stalled peace talks. This is a time in which Arab people are expecting a strong statement concerning the aggressions against the Palestinians and the Iraqi people.
Without doubt, the situation is in a state of flux. It may bow either to the better or tilt to the worse. It could go either way.
Despite the the information about some disagreements among Arab foreign ministers in the preparatory summit of foreign ministers, this, in all likelihood would not sabotage the summit. The idea of a discard is not in itself a bad thing, but continued hatred and rancor among Arab decision-makers is not at all a healthy omen. This summit should be a time to clear all misunderstandings and build cooperation. We have common goals and common enemies. Hence, it would be foolish not take advantage of such an important event to revitalize our relations.
On the other hand, President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s intentions to make a transitional government to help and re-establish the confidence of the people are also of great importance. Any move right now to show that efforts are being unleashed to minimize the damage being caused to the people due to the economic stagnation will bear positive results.
This is a time for change, both at the local and national levels, so let us keep our fingers crossed, and wait!