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Kevin Barrett: West must be pressured to push Saudis to stop Yemen war

A handout picture released by Kuwait's Ministry Of Information on July 17, 2016, shows UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed (C) speaking during a meeting of the Yemen peace talks with delegations in Kuwait City. (Photo by AFP)

Press TV has conducted an interview with Kevin Barrett, author and Middle East expert from Madison, Wisconsin, about the extension of the Yemen peace talks until August 7.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: The Saudi delegation reluctantly stays for another week now. Reports say they have been uncompromising throughout the peace talks with the Ansarullah delegation. Are there any hopes in your view that anything will change in these extra seven days in Kuwait now?

Barrett: Not really. I think the Saudis are pretty clear that they have gotten bogged down in this quagmire and they’re not in any hurry to get out, which is kind of surprising, but they feel that they have the backing of the US and the West and especially Israel, their latest close ally. And they’re dead set on trying to take over Yemen so they can build a pipeline through Yemen and bypass the Strait of Hormuz; and thereby get around that choke point that Iran has a lot of power over.

So it’s a big geo-strategic move for them, but they’re not really doing very well right now. They were on the wrong side of the Turkish coup, apparently. We learned that the Emirates and presumably the Saudis as well were in collusion with those forces, presumably American and perhaps Israeli - they’re usually involved - that tried to overthrow the democratic Turkish government and failed. It is a big loss for all those sides including the Saudis that took the side of the coup plotters.

So they’re really going from defeat to defeat and now they’re the ones who are walking out citing a fairly spurious excuse. It seems that they aren’t facing enough pressure to settle, because their backers in the West are not willing to force them to come to some kind of settlement. So I don’t think these seven days is going to bring a breakthrough.

Press TV: Ultimately do you think peace can be established or will be established in Yemen without the Saudis having the last say in how Yemen is governed? In other words, will Riyadh respect a peace accord that’s hammered out strictly by Yemeni entities?

Barrett: They’ve shown that they don’t have a whole lot of respect for the autonomy and sovereignty of Yemen. The whole purpose of this invasion was to try to install their puppet government so they could build their pipeline and run the place. And they don’t seem to have changed their minds.

So I think the only thing that will really force them to bring peace to Yemen is if the quagmire gets bad enough, the Saudi economy gets bad enough in the wake of these low oil prices that we’ve seen that the Saudis themselves have been ordered to pump oil by their Western backers to support the Rothschild petrodollar and that’s wrecked the Saudi economy.

So if ultimately things get bad enough at Saudi Arabia and they’re not going to get enough support from their usual backers, at some point, they may have to give up the way the US did and leave Yemen the way the US left Vietnam, but I don’t think that’s going happen in the next seven days unfortunately, because the people of Yemen are suffering and … human rights community [has been pressuring] Saudis for their horrific practice of cluster bombing and just destroying the infrastructure and imposing horrific suffering on the people of Yemen. We need the civil community, the human rights, NGOs and so on, to put more pressure on Western governments to tell the Saudis to stop.


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