Yemeni-Egyptian relations seriously verified [Archives:2006/951/Opinion]

June 1 2006

By: Atif Awad
Doubtlessly, Yemeni-Egyptian relations are now dealt with from a wider perspective, and in a different manner. However, the recent visit of Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif was not the only contribution to solidifying and verifying relations between these two brotherly nations. Minister Omer Suliman to Sana'a brief visit preceding this one, was of vital importance in this respect as well. Particular and general observers are predicting that something new is forming in the background between these two sides. Yet it could all mean a new and updated mechanism of cooperation between Egypt and Yemen.

Assuming that the suppositions of sincerity observered from both sides are true, this would mean there has been serious reconsideration of the terms that originally led to the disruption of relations imposed by both sides. Arab and international developments have no doubt had their impact. Therefeore, national commitments to both Yemeni and Egyptian people may have provided enough motivation for reconsideration. If this assumption over the aim of the visits is true, it is hard to ignore the fact that these visits came too late. Likewise, it is logical to observe the proverb that says, “Better late, than never.”

The Yemeni-Egyptian wish and need to put relations back on their right path and reinstate formal relations are now in earnest. While both sides are checking and reviewing the reasons for the long tepidity of relations, this does not diminish the urgent advice forward to both Egyptian guests and their Yemeni hosts. Historical facts show that Yemeni-Egyptian relations have never ceased, except when there was a lack of strategic vision from the political view point or the decision-making was not in the hands of the leaders of these two countries. The other unknown factor is the pact between the Red Sea gate of Egypt to the north and Yemen's southern gate of Bab-Almindub. The Yemeni-Egyptian deal at the time of President Sadat is worth mentioning. It was made during Egyptian preparations for the October 1973 war, where Yemen provided its commitment for the war. President Nasser of Egypt helped the Yemeni in the revolution of 1962, not for the sake of the Yemeni Copper and crude oil as some invented, but out of his deep consciousness of the role Yemeni people had in the progress of the Arab world. This help would help rescue the Yemeni people of their binding shackles.

In an interview with one of the rebel officers, he mentioned being accompanied by another eleven republican leaders to Egypt, following the defeat of the Sana'a blockade. They went there to report to Jamal Abdullnasir the story of their firm hold on the location until they were defeated by the besiegers. Following the withdrawal of the Egyptian troops to Sinai in 1967, the besiegers were encouraged and dreamt of taking Sana'a from the Republicans. The crisis of 1967 still pervaded over the Arab world and on Nasser in particular. The leader continued to say that they grasped the chance to communicate to Nasser their victory. He added that Nasser warmly received them and said “Sinai will be liberated sooner or later, but if Sana'a fell, the Arabs and the Yemeni will never rise.” He was so affected that he shed tears of pleasure of the republican victory.

If the sincere ones considered Yemeni love for Egyptians and their culture, they will realize that the Yemenis are a system of love that can not be ignored. For generations the Yemenis have yearned for Egyptian thoughts, press, magazines, films songs, and anything of Egyptian Arabic aroma. They wouldl be distressed if Egypt stayed away from this Arab nation and ignored their fans.

Yemeni-Egyptian politicians both acknowledge the well-known tendencies of this period and the need for financial fusion in order to develop their countries. It will be irresponsible to neglect the economic cooperation between the two countries and Arabs as a whole. Cooperation and barter should be an endeavor for the country's leaders. The countries' doors should remain open for joint trade and investment. This requires an intellectual and conscientious inference with peer dealings free of legal complications. It will provide an alertness based solid grounds, endearing the two nations and their improvement. Politicians in both countries may win the support of the Yemeni and Egyptian nations, and who knows they may become a model for the rest of the Arab people. This unique Arabic fusion could be an attractive model as it is different from all other models.

Atif Awad is an Egyptian journalist and short story writer residing in Yemen.