Tuesday, March 29, 2011

'US, Saudis keep Saleh in power'

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Source: Press TV

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been able to stay in power only by relying on foreign supports and funding, especially from the US and Saudi Arabia, Director of Institute for [Persian] Gulf Affairs (IGA) says.

“I think there is a decision in Washington and in Riyadh not to let Ali Abdullah Saleh fall,” Ale al-Ahmed told Press TV.

“He has been so far able to stay in power, because of the international and regional support and the funding that he has been receiving,” he added.

Ahmed pointed to the fact that none of the US and European leaders have called on Saleh to implement reforms or step down, while they did that with other embattled regional leaders, such as former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak.

The IGA director argued that the West thinks Saleh is their only guarantee against al-Qaeda, but they ignore the fact that the Yemeni president is using al-Qaeda to blackmail his neighbors and the West to get more aid and support.

Saleh is losing his key internal allies and if he loses the money given to him from outside Yemen, he will lose the support of its loyalists as well, Ahmed pointed out.

Since protests against Saleh's three-decade rule started in mid-February, scores of Yemenis have been killed in the government crackdown.

Dozens of cabinet ministers, lawmakers, diplomats and tribal leaders have also abandoned the Yemeni president and joined the opposition to show solidarity with the people.

However, Saleh has rejected calls to step down immediately, saying he is ready to cede power only to "safe hands."

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