Yemen’s priorities tackled and Arab issues discussed:Arab States Union a necessity: Saleh [Archives:2004/740/Front Page]

May 24 2004

President Ali Abdullah Saleh unveiled Yemen's initiative to other Arab states to establish an Arab States Union and to start massive reforms in all walks of life. He said, in his speech made last Friday on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the unification day on 22 May, that Arabs could learn from the European and African Unions.
“The Republic of Yemen, based on its national responsibility and its belief in the nation's unity and joint destiny, has presented a reforms initiative of the Arab system to tackle the existing defect of the joint Arab action. We took into consideration all ideas and initiatives which were presented by a number of brotherly countries in addition to experiences of the European Union or the African Union and others.” he said.
“The establishment of an Arab States Union represents a national necessity for the reactivation of the joint Arab work and strengthening the nation' scalability to deal with dangers threatening it. With the absence of solidarity, integration and unity the nation will remain a coveted object.”
President Saleh urged Arab leaders in the Arab summit held in the last two days to act decisively in unifying their stance to overcome the challenges facing the region. He also noted that reform is welcome as long as it respects the individual values of each country and is started from the inside. He also noted the deteriorating conditions in Iraq and Palestine.

Local issues tackled
President Saleh also called upon the government to wage what he called 'a severe war on corrupts wherever they are.' He focused in his speech on economic and political reforms and concentrated on the need to rid the country of corruption.
“The legislative authority and the central organization for auditing and control should fulfill their duties against the corrupt taking into account accurate and precise information away from vexatious intentions. Those who are responsible for monitoring the corrupt should strike a good example by behavior, honesty and conscience.”
This year's anniversary celebrations were held at the Presidential palace, which is unlike the usual custom of having a military parade. Observers believe that the time is not right for a military parade as atrocities in Iraq and Palestine have taken its toll and Arab leaders are meeting on the same day in Tunis.
President Saleh also talked about various local issues such as security, the economy, education, infrastructure projects, investments, democracy, human and civil rights, and civil society.
He received more than 2,500 guests at the presidential house in Sanaa. It was noted that several sectors of the community were invited including members of the civil society and the press along with many Yemenis who returned from exile after the 1994 war.
President Saleh hinted to those returnees by saying that “most of those who were
abroad returned home as arrangements were taken to tackle their status and properties and provide them with jobs according to their qualifications. The homeland is big enough for everyone.”