Opposition denounces government’s welcoming of Iraq council’s visit [Archives:2003/663/Front Page]

August 28 2003

Sanaa, August 26 – In a statement to Yemen Times, Islah and other opposition parties have denounced the government's decision to welcome the visit of the Iraqi interim governing council, which is to hold talks with Yemen's government in an effort to convince it to recognize the council as the official governing body of Iraq in the Arab League and in bilateral relations.
Mr. Abdulwahhab Al-Anisi, Deputy General Secretary of the Islah opposition party expressed his disappointment at the approval to receive the delegation stressing that the council is still, a mere puppet of the occupying forces and any recognition of it would be considered recognition of the occupation. “As a political party, Islah had said in the last Shura Council meeting that unless occupation is gone, Iraqi resistance is the only option for the Iraqi people.” he told Yemen Times.
“There was no justification to welcome the council's request to visit Yemen, as this request is basically American. It is obvious that the occupation is behind what is going on in Iraq and bear the sole responsibility.”
Al-Anisi said that the current ongoing plans in Iraq concerning the council and the drafting of a new constitution are only to serve USA's interest to change the region's map, and there was no reason to have Yemen involve in such steps, which may somewhat relieve the US administration of its responsibilities.
The opposition believes that the government is under pressure to recognize the council, and if it does so, it would contradict its initial stance that no entity could be recognized at the Arab League unless it is elected by the people of Iraq.
This comes in a time Prime Minister Abdulqadir ba Jammal has openly welcomed the delegation's visit in an interview to Al-Arabiya Channel, confirming that it only comes in favor of the Iraqi people's interest, and does not necessarily indicate Yemen's recognition of the council as the representative of Iraq.
He also said that the delay in the visit, which was supposed to start on Monday, was due to circumstances related to the delegation's itself.
“We, as Arabs, need to have a unified, clear, and transparent stance concerning Iraq. We need to deal with this issue realistically and with responsibility because the issue concerns our principles and should not be left to our emotions and tempers.” he said.