Saleh calls on Arab states to open borders for resistance [Archives:2006/969/Front Page]

August 3 2006

By:Mohammed bin Sallam
SANA'A, Aug. 2 ) In an interview with Al-Jazeera television Monday, Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh called on Arab nations to open their borders for fighters to pass into Lebanon to join resistance against the Israeli aggression.

The Yemeni leader urged other Arab nations to supply Lebanon with arms and militants to join the Lebanese in popular resistance against Israel, noting that there's no need for an official war between Israel and Arab states.

“Resistance is a legal right. It's mandatory upon every Muslim and not only the Lebanese. I hope neighboring countries and not just Syria alone will join the war against Israel. We have to open borders for arms and militants without engaging in an official war against Zionism,” Saleh stated.

Yemen has made no practical move or important steps to contribute to stopping the war or reducing strikes on Lebanese and Palestinian peoples. However, Yemen did call for an emergency Arab summit, but to no avail, with Yemeni Prime Minister Abdulqader Bajammal disclosing that the summit was foiled deliberately.

According to Saleh, accounts on who caused the war are futile. “Syria has the right to join the war to defend itself,” he said, “Israel is in a critical situation and the Israeli community may evacuate the region since it's contradictory and involves different races.”

Saleh considers that, by all means, the Israel army is defeated in the battle and that the Israeli government is bound to fall soon because it's far from the right track and made a mistake in its account.

“I hope the war will expand but the Israelis dare not. If the Israelis are stranded in Lebanon, how will it be possible for them to impose their control, particularly as their cities are targets for Syrian rockets? Syria is armed and ready for anything. Frankly speaking, Israel is defeated,” he continued.

The Yemeni leader affirmed that Israel's war strategy is based on sudden and quick strikes, but today has found itself engaged in a 19-day war, during which period the fighting has changed.

He added, “Israel used the kidnapping of two of its soldiers as a pretext to wage war upon Arabs. I think Israel's strategy was pre-planned with the aim of disarming the Lebanese resistance, in addition to disarming resisters in Gaza. The Israeli strategy receives support for superpowers like the United States, but without these powers, Israel dares not do anything because it feels cowardly to shake regional security and stability.”

Saleh emphasized the necessity of holding an Arab summit; however, his government withdrew a previous call it made for an emergency Arab summit.

“I reaffirm that a summit must be held, not to divide, but to unify and confront the Zionist challenge, as well as exert pressure on European nations with interests in the Middle East. We fear that Arab regimes will lose control of the situation if they don't pressure the U.N. and permanent member states to put a stop to the fighting,” Saleh went on. “The Arab streets then will control the situation, which may harm European and U.S. interests in the Middle East.”

During his Al-Jazeera interview, the Yemeni president ascertained that youths must donate money and arms and to join the resistance. “Just as we helped the Afghan resistance against Communist occupation, we must do the same now to back resistance in Lebanon and Palestine,” Saleh gave as evidence.

September elections

On the other hand the president said the upcoming elections will take place with ultimate transparency, in a secure environment. In a Tuesday speech to military force leaders, he assured that local and international monitoring will be present for the elections. He indicated that the loser of the elections is expected to claim that they weren't fair, “although we've agreed with all political forces that local and international monitoring will be present.”