Press Review [Archives:2001/25/Press Review]

June 18 2001

Yemeni local press this week front-paged a number of news stories, particularly related to local developments. Among the main news stories are the closing of the US consulate at the American Embassy in Sanaa, the release of the kidnapped German citizen and the big fire that broke out in the building of the Yemenia Airlines Company.
Main Headlines:
-Foreign minister: Closing US Consulate, a temporary measure not affecting bilateral relations
-Regional, International Conference on Investment to be Held in Yemen next September
-President Saleh Congratulates Khatami on Winning Iranian Presidential Elections
-Armed Confrontations between Police and Groups Affiliated with Hameed Al-Ahmar at Sabeen Park, Sana’a
-Ministers Involved in Release of American Expired Flour Scandal
-Multi-Dialogue on Amendments of Elections Law
-Unidentified Ship (BELOS CARRIER) Seized in Hodeida Port
-Large Demonstration in Attaq Protesting Military Presence, Oppression
-Journalists Tried on Press Day
-US$ 200 Million, Tourism Sector Annual Loss
-Trial of the Accused in British Embassy Blast in Sana’a Began
-Political Forces Approve Timetable on Future Dialogue
-Local Administration Minister Abu Ras Withdraws his Resignation.
Here are excerpts from articles published in some Yemeni local newspapers this week.
As-Sahwa weekly 14 June 2001.
On the relationship between Yemen and America Mr Said Thabit wrote an analysis saying the statement the US Embassy in Sana’a issued last Saturday night has revealed the amount of pressure the US government practices on the Sana’a government. Those pressures are aimed at having Sana’a accept the US government conditions regarding a number of Yemeni internal and foreign issues considered as part of the core of affairs the US would not accept to be to be handled by a third party.
The US State Department’s statement included the closing of its embassy’s consulate in Sana’a, warning American against travel to Yemen, and authorizing non-essential diplomats and families to leave Yemen.
Observers believe that the justification stipulated in the statement on the security situations was not enough to the for the United States takes a decision at this level. But observers see that the decision is direct pressure on the Sana’a regime to accept its demands regarding the consideration of USS Cole. The file Should be kept open for an unspecified period, a desire the U.S. ambassador to Sana’a expressed in a press interview with 26 September weekly at the beginning of this year, and voicing that the investigations should take a larger scope. Sana’a has in fact dealt resolutely with the suspects of the Cole incident. It carried out a large-scale arrest campaign against tens of suspects aiming at disclosing complications of that operation. It also accepted American investigators to participate in interrogating the suspects. Nonetheless, Washington seems not to be satisfied with the Yemeni stance and thinks it can exercise more pressure and ”extortion” , as a Yemeni politician has expressed. Its aim is to get a permanent presence in one of most important strategic areas in the Arab region.
Al-Wahdawi weekly, organ of the Nasserite People’s Unionist Organization, 12 June 2001.
The weekly editorial is devoted this week to marking the 27th of June 13 movement anniversary. It says the movement will be always remembered by the Yemenis as an outstanding event of national struggle.The people’s patriotic forces led by martyr Ibrahim Al-Hamdi succeeded in stopping the social, economic and cultural collapse of the society and restoring development to its normal track.
The June 13 movement has, ever since the beginning, raised a number of significant slogans and began implementing them immediately. The most important of them was financial and administrative reform, a weapon with which to fight corruption spread within the ruling regime. The movement was able to unify the army, which was divided into units controlled by influential families leading them in different directions.
Yemen’s unity was among the most significant slogans the movement worked for, and took huge steps to achieve. The leader Al-Hamdi died a martyr while he was at the threshold of an important stage in the pursuit of realizing the unity. The forces antagonistic to the people were certain that achievement of unity at the hands of this leader would render Yemen into a state aborting their hostile designs.
Nowadays, after the unity has been achieved, there is still a dire need for tackling financial and administrative failures harming the social system. The need also exists for fully accomplishing local councils, as an extension of public cooperation for development, and in a manner producing a broader popular participation in development planning and administrative decisions.
Ath-Thawri weekly, organ of the Yemen Socialist Party, 14 June 2001.
A front page leading story of the newspaper written by Mr Abubakr Abddulla tackled the question of programs for protection of the poor.
The article says many of those concerned about this affair say the preliminary estimates indicate that the number of poor in Yemen exceeds nine million and the area of poverty is continuously broadening. The article explains that the situation means that none of the protection programs adopted in this regard has managed to realize the minimum extent of its goals.
The writer maintains that it seems the present government, though it has inherited the former government’s negligence in activating the protection net, is facing urgent challenges necessitating suitable arrangements to provide care for these segments. It would be unfair to say that social welfare programs have not offered anything for the segments harmed due to economic reform programs. Nevertheless, it is certain that those programs have been limited in comparison with the government speed in carrying out the reform ”doses”. The more apparent impact effected by the reform doses in the past few years is that they caused the loss of more than 70% of individual’s incomes and led to extreme drop in incomes estimated at 40%.
Among aspects of delinquency mentioned by some studies is the negligence of successive governments towards finding convenient solutions of the poverty phenomenon and their concentration on external factors in facing it. That has led to the aggravation of problems and addition of new restrictions to it.   Al-Umma weekly 14 June 2001.
An article by Mr Abdulla Al-Kabari has been devoted to the Yemeni-Saudi partnership. The writer confirms that the tempo of official rapprochement between the governments of Yemen and Saudi Arabia has lately climbed higher scales. Political, diplomatic and cultural channels have also witnessed a streamline movement and continuation among them revitalizing the said channels. Regardless of any other things, what is more interesting here is that the latest treaty and its annexes would lay new foundations of relations between the two countries. It is important that it will create practical climates for economic and social integration serving the joint national interests and issues, and moreover enhancing confidence between the sons of the two countries as actual beneficiaries of what has been attained.    Frankly enough the official Yemeni address has been seeking that the two countries would exceed the concept of the relationship prevalent before signing the latest treaty based on the basis of borders and move to the concept of partnership and integration. This would be the most significant bases of proceeding towards the aspired future.
It seems rather eye-catching that the Yemeni official enthusiasm has not been receiving the similar response on part of the Saudi side. The Saudis dealing with the issue have been characterized by deliberation regarding statements and the few visits of some businessmen delegations. But until the qualitative transfer happens in the relations between the two countries, joint hopes and aspirations of the two peoples will be waited for.
Al-Mithaq weekly, organ of the People’s General Congress Party (GPC), 11 June 2001.
The newspaper’s editorial says an observer of the political map in our country will clearly comprehend the extent of the important changes that took place in the course of political pluralism which constitutes one of the significant accomplishments of the 22 May unity. This is based on the fact that the true faith in democracy and the principled commitment to human rights, freedom of expression and peaceful transfer of power became one of the axioms our country is under leadership of president Ali Abdulla Saleh is pursuing. The GPC has taken a number of important decisions and shouldered their responsibility mainly regarding the enrichment of democratic life and completion of its institutions.
The Local Councils Law that embodied financial and administrative decentralization has give a significant indicator on the GPC’s comprehension of the spirit of the age and its requirements. Thus the local council elections came as an embodiment of the principle of popular participation.
26 September, organ of Yemen Armed Forces, 14 June 2001.
The political editor in the newspaper has written an article on the phenomenon of vengeance saying that vengeance was one of the essential issues the president had dealt with in meeting with Shoura Council members. He had stressed the necessity of tackling this negative social phenomenon out of realization of what social problems it causes and its impact on security and stability in society.
The political editor emphasized that the Vengeance Committee set up at the Shoura Council must present solutions guaranteeing the removal of this tumbling stone hindering Yemen’s progress towards a future free from the revenge phenomenon that tarnishes Yemen’s image.