The future of this country in stake [Archives:2005/890/Front Page]

October 31 2005


The Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is scheduled to make his much-anticipated visit to the United States Next Month for a round up meeting with President Bush and other high-ranking U.S. officials. Sources at the White House mentioned that the two presidents are to discuss bilateral and regional issues as well as further initiatives for cooperation between the two countries. The Yemeni Foreign Minister mentioned that President Saleh would review the international and regional issues and clarify the Yemeni standing on these issues; pointing out that Yemen would continue to be an active partner in the international campaign against terrorism.

Many local NGOs feel that this visit will play a crucial role in deciding the future of this troubled nation, President Saleh is hoping to gain the much needed financial support to improve the country's sinking economy. There are many questions around the real purpose of the visit, since it takes place only days before the ruling party announces its new presidential candidate to run in the upcoming presidential elections.

President Saleh shocked the nation by announcing that he would not run in the next presidential elections. “Its time for the younger generation to stand and guide this nation to a better future”, quoting President Saleh, many analysts have serious doubts concerning the president's promise, fearing that this is nothing but propaganda to help the ruling party achieve a hidden agenda.

Issues of importance to the U.S government, which will be focused on include reforms, Yemen's efforts in fighting terrorism, human rights and freedoms, smuggling of weapons to neighboring countries, including Somalia, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan.

The dilemma around this trip is its timing in such a crucial time period in Yemen's political history; does it suggest that the direct interference of the United States in the upcoming Yemeni elections or if the economic and political prosperity of this country is at the hands of the United States, only time will tell.