Houthis reject dialogue
Saleh Habra, a leading figure in the Shiite Houthis, asked the Yemen Times in a statement, “Why would we want a political dialogue as long as it was imposed on us by the US and other countries by force?
“How is the dialogue going to succeed in this way? They should ask the Yemeni people first and then invite us for dialogue,” Habra said.
He considered the upcoming national dialogue as a way of cheating the Yemeni people, as he feels that it only serves the interests of the US and other states, whose first priority is not what’s best for Yemen.
“The revolution broke out in order to achieve a number of things for this country, but the so-called National Unity Government hijacked the revolution and marginalized its aims. That’s why we don’t see or feel any improvement in the situation,” he said.
“We will not participate in any dialogue until we feel that the government’s goal is to serve the people and to seek to achieve their aspirations for building a new modern Yemeni state based on partnership and equal citizenship.”
In this vein, the prominent political figure and the head of the Political Development Forum, Ali Saif Hassan, said that the only solution for the current situation in the country is the inclusive national dialogue.
He told the local news website Al-Taghyeer that there are two potential types of dialogue in Yemen. One inclusive is of all sides, especially the factions that did sign the GCC accord.
“This needs extra effort from the political leadership, especially by President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi,” he said.
According to Hassan, the second type is the dialogue only among the sides which signed the GCC deal and their followers. He described this type of dialogue as an extension of the dialogue which was suspended in 2008 between Saleh’s party and the opposition coalition known as the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP).
“If the Preparatory Committee for the National Dialogue is formed by only the two sides of the National Unity Government, then the dialogue will only involve these two sides.” Hassan added.
In the meanwhile, attention is fixed on the comprehensive national dialogue which will take place soon, as stipulated in the GCC agreement.
However, there are many obstacles in its way. Several movements and factions, such as the Southern Movement and the Houthis, refused to take part in the dialogue. Also, there are some sides, like the revolutionary youth, which demand tough conditions be put on the dialogue.
Early this week, a high-ranking official told London-based Al-Sharq Al-Awsat Newspaper that new decrees to form committees tasked with communicating with the various factions and paving the way for the dialogue will be issued soon.
The unidentified official noted that the communication committees will be tasked with communicating with the concerned local, regional and international parties.
Speaking about the delay of the dialogue, which had been due to take place in April, the official said, “The delay in issuing presidential decrees regarding the reorganizing of the armed and security forces was the reason behind the postponement of the dialogue.”
“Some sides refused to obey the presidential decrees for over twenty days. If these sides had obeyed the decrees once they were issued, we would have held the dialogue on time. Only when the UN envoy to Yemen, Jamal Ben Omar, arrived in the country and held talks with these sides they listened to the decrees,” he explained.
The official pointed out that the forthcoming national dialogue will take place in mid-May.