After the parliament has granted him judicial immunity, Yemen’s President Abdullah Saleh intends to leave the country for some time.
He will spend several days in Oman and then fly to the US – allegedly, to undergo medical treatment.
Well, probably Mr. Saleh really needs some medical treatment, after an assassination attempt was made on him in July. However, some people suspect that the president really wants to spend some time outside the country in order to escape people’s wreath. The fact that he has been granted judicial immunity dissatisfied the Yemeni opposition, and a series of rallies took place in the country. The opposition demanded that Mr. Saleh should be trialed for, as they said, “military crimes”.
Mr. Saleh’s departure from Yemen seems even more suspicious with the US State Department concealing the reason why he is coming to the US. As for the Yemeni president himself, he has promised to return home as soon as his medical treatment is complete.
Before leaving Yemen, Mr. Saleh apologized for what he called “his mistakes” and said that time had come for him to pass his power over to someone else.
Russian expert in Eastern affairs Irina Zvyagelskaya says:
“I believe, the fact that Mr. Saleh has decided to leave his post himself, without waiting to be ousted, is the best scenario for Yemen. Abdullah Saleh has been Yemen’s president for as many as 33 years, and small wonder that now, people are a bit tired of him. He probably does have certain sins to be trialed for, but, I believe, it is a good sign that he won’t. The more peaceful the scenario is, the better. After all, he has apologized for his mistakes.”
At the same time, although Mr. Saleh has declared that he would resign as president, he still intends to remain the head of the ruling “General People’s Congress” party – and, as such, he would most likely remain one of the most influential figures in Yemen’s policy. This is much to the Yemeni people’s dissatisfaction, for the majority of them don’t want to see Abdullah Saleh on any post.
It would be interesting to compare the situation in Yemen with that in Syria.
On January 22, foreign ministers of the Arab League countries once again demanded that the Syrian regime must stop violence. They demanded that ahead-of-schedule parliamentary and presidential elections must be held in Syria and that President Bashar al-Assad must hand his power over to his first deputy for the latter to form a government of national concord. The Arab League believes that this is the best way to settle the Syrian conflict.
“We must admit that the situation in Syria is currently in a deadlock,” Representative of the Russian President for Cooperation with African Countries Mikhail Margelov, who is also Chairman of the Russian parliament’s upper house’s Committee for International Affairs, says. “The Arab League seems to believe that only one scenario would be successful for Syria – ousting President Assad and giving the president’s post to the current deputy prime minister, probably because a similar scenario is now being successfully implemented in Yemen. However, the Syrian regime disagrees with this plan, calling it interference into Syria’s internal affairs.”
“The Arab League is dissatisfied with the fact that Bashar al-Assad’s regime is suppressing the Syrian opposition with force, and this dissatisfaction is, of course, justified,” Mr. Margelov continues. “But there is another reason why the Arab League is opposed to Assad’s regime. The matter is that this regime is an ally of an opponent of the Arab League, Iran.”
Unlike the Yemeni president, the Syrian one does not intend to step down. He still hopes to suppress the opposition in his country with force. But it would be better for him to think twice before doing this, for this may lead to a large-scale civil war in Syria.