President Saleh: “Kidnapping should be considered as one form of terrorism” [Archives:2001/41/Front Page]
In his inaugural speech concerning the parliament and the Shoura Council’s new five-year plan (2001-2005), President Saleh said on Saturday that kidnapping should be considered as one form of terrorism. In his statement, he openly accused all kidnappers of terrorism, something that Yemen has been suffering from for many years. Addressing the problematic situation of kidnapping in Yemen, President Saleh said that the kidnapper of the Chinese citizen, Mawein Dong, wanted to pressure the government to increase his military rank. He was apparently frustrated because he had served for a long time as an escort to one of the sheikhs.
“We condemn terrorism in all its forms.. We ourselves have suffered greatly from terrorism throughout the last few years. The USS Cole incident, the Abyan kidnapping incident of December 1998, as well as others, have caused great damage to our national economy,” he said.
President Saleh welcomed the statements of the American president, George Bush, in which he expressed his approval of the independent state of Palestine. He also called upon the international community to bring Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to the International Tribunal for prosecution concerning crimes against humanity, crimes he continues to commit. “Sharon is definitely more dangerous than the former Serbian leader, President Milosevic,” he said.
He also said he was not demanding that the public give up their weapons. He said he was not against carrying weapons, but rather affirmed the importance of “regulating the carrying of weapons.”
Finally, the President said the government should realize the needs of the public instead of focusing only on certain interests. He also stated that the legislative authorities should have a common vision concerning uniform law enforcement; they should be the first to abide by these laws and not the first to break them.