Sunday, 28 August 2016

Desisive storm revisited: Kerry's False road map for Saudi's for safe landing of the Yemeni tree



 Abdel Bari Atwan

 The Four-Party ‘Roadmap’ for Yemen will get nowhere unless Riyadh alters its attitude towards Yemen and the Yemenis,

 The roadmap for peace in Yemen proposed by the four-party committee that includes the U.S., the UK, Saudi Arabia and the UAE is primarily meant to save Riyadh and its allies from their predicament in Yemen, argues the editorial in an online pan-Arab daily. But this is not possible unless Saudi Arabia abandons its arrogant dealings with Yemen and its people.

The 18-month conflict has killed more than 6,500 people, mostly civilians, and displaced three million, the UN says [Xinhua]

 AN ADMISSION OF FAILURE: “The ‘four-way committee’ for the Yemeni crisis that met in Jeddah headed by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry with the participation of his Saudi and Emirati counterparts as well as the British Assistant foreign secretary, and that has proposed a ‘roadmap’ as an alternative to that offered by UN Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad, constitutes an admission of the latter’s failure and his lack of neutrality,” writes Friday’s editorial on the pan-Arab

It is also an admission of Saudi Arabia’s deep predicament in Yemen.

Ould Cheikh Ahmad’s roadmap consisted of Saudi diktats that were an insult to the Houthi/Saleh delegation. Foremost among them was the proposal to form a new government that would be sworn in before President ‘Abed-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, as well as the demand to withdraw Houthi/Saleh forces from Sana’a, with the agreement to be signed in Riyadh or in Mecca; in other words, on Saudi soil. This is what led to the collapse of the Kuwait negotiations.

The ‘roadmap’ that the ‘four-way committee’ is seeking is primarily aimed at finding a political solution for the Yemeni crisis. Rather, it is an attempt to extract Saudi Arabia and its allies from the ‘predicament’ of the Yemeni crisis, and the disastrous consequences of their war that has been raging for 17 months without any tangible results.

The Americans are deeply concerned about the growing number of civilians and children killed by [the Saudi-led] Operation Decisive Storm’s bombardment of schools, farms, hospitals, and weddings, since they are being killed by American weapons, which may expose the U.S. to legal action alongside the Saudi authorities. And the Americans have given expression to their concern by sending a delegation of American military lawyers to train their Saudi counterparts in avoiding war crimes in Yemen. Similarly, the UN has demanded the formation of an independent international body to investigate the violation of human rights in Yemen.

The U.S. has driven Saudi Arabia into the Yemeni abyss so to hemorrhage Riyadh in financial, human, and political terms. This is exactly similar to how it lured Iraqi president Saddam Hussein into the Kuwait trap, when U.S. ambassador April Glaspie suggested that her country would not object to an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait [in 1990].

The international ‘four-way committee’ that the U.S. administration formed to find a political solution for the Yemeni crisis reminds us of a similar committee that was formed some ten years ago that drafted the ‘roadmap’ for peace in occupied Palestine. That committee was presided over by former British PM Tony Blair and it failed to achieve any success besides increasing Israeli settlement activities in the occupied territories. We believe that this second committee will fare no better than the first.

At his press conference with Kerry, Saudi Foreign Minister Mr. ‘Adel al-Jubeir stressed that the four-way committee rejects any unilateral steps by the parties to the crisis. That seems to refer to the Houthi/Saleh alliance’s formation of the Supreme Political Council and the choice of Mr. Saleh as-Samad as its president (effectively assuming the role of the country’s president) to be followed by the formation of a Yemeni government. But Mr. Jubeir forgot that his leaders’ decision to wage war in Yemen was also a unilateral decision.

Any political solution needs to take the facts and changes on the ground in Yemen into consideration. It must safeguard the interests of all parties, without any bias in favor of one party at the others’ expense.

“And above all, the Saudi leadership must abandon the ‘kafeel’ mentality [system of monitoring foreign workers by way of local Saudi ‘guarantors’] in its dealing with Yemen and its people,” concludes the daily.

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