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Yemen and the World Cup

Yemen and the World Cup

Sunday, 10 April, 2022 - 08:30
Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

Optimism and pessimism aren’t a part of the realm of political action, politics is an art of what is possible, according to data, what could be taken and what is up for negotiation. To save bloodshed, politicians must remain cold-blooded. Such an introduction is vital when examining Yemen’s most prominent and recent events.

Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi announced the sacking of Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and the formation of a new leadership council for completing the transitional phase.

President Hadi delegated the leadership council an irreversible mandate with all its powers in accordance with the Yemeni constitution and the Gulf initiative and its executive mechanism.

This decision is considered a historic step, a real correction to the path of legitimacy, and it reaffirmed Saudi Arabia's keenness on Yemen.

It also shows the skill of the Saudi leadership in handling a thorny and complex file in a clever political way.

“This Saudi political action is in my view equivalent to nothing but the Saudi political action that brought UN Resolution 2216 to light,” an informed Arab official told me. It is noteworthy that Resolution 2216 was issued on April 14, 2015.

With 25 articles, it won the support of 14 members of the UN Security Council, while Russia abstained.

The Resolution refers to President Hadi's request from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab League for military intervention to protect Yemen from Houthi aggression.

It stipulates the imposition of sanctions against Abdul-Malik al-Houthi and others accused of “undermining peace, security and stability” in Yemen.

“In my opinion, working in the world of politics and international relations is equivalent in the world of football, not only for qualifying, but for winning the World Cup,” the Arab official added about the ingenuity of Saudi political work and the focus on the Kingdom qualifying for the World Cup.

A well-informed diplomat told me that the “corrective” movement achieved two main goals: “Uniting the anti-Houthi political body with all its components, and leaving the Houthis an opportunity to negotiate to be a partner in the political solution.”

Accordingly, we are facing a historical correction that ensures that the decision today is entirely Yemeni and taken among the parties on the ground, and not by a single Yemeni individual or component. The decision would be based on political, not ideological, understandings.

It also blocks the way to the game of accusations, as everyone is involved in the decision-making.

This corrective step also means that Saudi Arabia was and still is more careful and effective than the West, or the Americans, in dealing with the Yemeni crisis.

It also goes to show that Saudi Arabia is keen on Yemen's unity and stability and does not have subversive roles like Iran.

To date, the international community remains silent about Iran’s sponsoring of a military coup in Yemen and its support of militias in front of institutions that claim to defend human rights.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is moving within an Arab alliance under Resolution 2216 to restore legitimacy in Yemen.

The formation of a leadership council that transferred all the powers of the Yemeni president, and the dismissal of the vice president, mean that Saudi Arabia is a rational state. It proves that the Kingdom has sufficient flexibility to achieve stability in Yemen and support the state and not individuals, militias, or any single component.

Yes, the road is long, but this “historical corrective” movement paved the way for making real political decisions that have nothing to do with optimism and pessimism, but rather to facilitate political solutions with serious work, silently without false slogans, as many do in the West, or as destructive Iran does.

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