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UN proposing nothing new to advance Yemen talks: Analyst

The United Nations special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed (AFP photo)

Press TV has interviewed Naseer al-Omari, an author and political commentator in New York, about a roadmap proposed by the UN special envoy to Yemen to end the Saudi invasion of the country.

A rough transcription of the interview appears below.


Press TV: It has been a long road as far as these negotiations go in Kuwait. Are you at all hopeful that this might just be the solution that Yemen needs or are we going to see more haggling before that peace is achieved?

Omari: I am not hopeful because there is no blueprint for peace. Basically you have the Saudis dictating to the Yemenis and every time you have an outside power dictating and tipping the scale in favor of one group against the other, the Yemenis will never reach peace.

The Saudis believe that Yemen is their backyard. They believe that the security of Yemen matters only because it happens to be in the Saudis' backyard and they will dictate their rules through their envoys and representatives and the Yemenis who invited them to fight for them. It is a very difficult situation because power-sharing in Yemen has been always a problem; historically it has been a problem.

So, so far I believe that the United Nations has not proposed anything new to advance the talks in Yemen.

Press TV: So you are saying that despite the fact that there have not been any concrete gains on the ground for Saudi Arabia in Yemen, it is still invested in this invasion of its neighbor. Let’s not forget though that it seems at least that Saudi Arabia’s allies might be losing patience too; let’s not forget what the UAE had done when it backtracked on its comments where it said its role in the war on Yemen is practically over.  

Omari: Yes, this war had no chance of success from day one. The whole idea is diabolical, to be honest with you. The Saudis wanted to prevent the Houthis regardless of what the Houthis stood for. They wanted to prevent them from achieving any political success in Yemen. I believe that Yemen would disintegrate economically; the Yemeni people are suffering economically, they are under a blockade. I believe that the Saudis have known all along that Yemen would disintegrate and this war would go nowhere but their main goal was to prevent the Houthis from establishing a foothold even if it is at the expense of 20 million Yemenis who are now in need of urgent humanitarian aid.

So yes, the allies know that this is not going anywhere and I believe that Yemen will remain the way it is right now for a very long time to come as a result of this invasion.

Press TV: And is this turmoil something that Saudi Arabia is prepared to see at its borders? Let’s not forget what is happening in Bahrain at the moment, also Saudi Arabia’s own Eastern Province has seen its own uprising as well as its own economic situation.

Omari: I have always said that the Saudis want to escape the responsibility of what is happening internally. Their legitimacy and their conflict within the royal family over power, the fact that they are about to withdraw all the subsidies from the Saudis, I believe that they have a serious internal problem in Saudi Arabia and they want to make it sound like it is Shia versus Sunni; they want to make it sound like it is Iran when in fact it is their own policies and their support of the Wahhabi sect which has spread terrorism as far as the United States and beyond.

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