March 5, 2013

"National Dialogue" Masks Foreign Interference In Yemen

UN envoy Jamal Benomar presents a distorted view of Yemen's situation and the GCC's power-sharing agreement via a Saudi daily: "The Yemenis have done this without any foreign dictates."

To be fair to him, though, the general script of his interview was presumably written by those working above him:
Yemen is perhaps the most troubled state in the Middle East with a history of poverty, civil war and division. Uncertainty about its future following the instability that led to and followed the resignation of its former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has prompted regional and UN intervention in a bid to prevent the state from descending into chaos.
The first meetings of a conference that brings together political parties, regional factions, interest groups and civil society organizations from across the country will get underway soon, in a bid to stabilize the situation. Prompted by the UN and Yemen’s neighbors, Yemen’s quarreling groups will attempt to thrash out a settlement on elections and a new constitution among other issues, a settlement that many hope will allow Yemen to avoid secession and possible civil war.
Asharq Al-Awsat spoke to Jamal Benomar, an Assistant Secretary-General of the UN and the organization’s special envoy to Yemen, who has played an important role in the organization of the forthcoming National Dialogue Conference. Speaking by telephone, Benomar told Asharq Al-Awsat about his hopes for the conference, the obstacles it faces, and the efforts of the UN and Yemen’s neighbors to assist the process of a peaceful transfer of power in the troubled state.
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