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'Yemenis demand major change'
Tue, 26 Apr 2011 12:18:18 GMT
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Yemeni opposition has reportedly accepted a plan by the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. This comes following another day of massive anti-government demonstrations during which two more protesters were killed by regime forces.

PressTV has interviewed Jeff Steinberg, editor of the Executive Intelligence Review in Washington, to further discuss the situation in Yemen.

PressTV: How do you analyze the current situation in Yemen now that it seems that a new deal is in place?

Steinburg: well, I think you have got two distinct process that have to be understood as distinct and separate. You have the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council attempt to bring the Yemen crisis to a satisfactory conclusion in which the concessions to the protesters on the street are absolutely minimized and there is the greatest possible continuity. So when your correspondent in Sana'a was speaking about the opposition and talking about political parties, he made the point very clear that they don't necessarily have the backing of the demonstrators, the young people who have been the backbone of the protests from the very beginning.

So you have an attempt at a diplomatic solution that seems to be growing more and more unacceptable to the youth protesters, the more that the army loyal to President Saleh turn their guns on the people. And so that is hardening the demands of the youths who are the backbone of the revolt that Saleh has to go and that it has to be an unconditional departure with no guarantees that there won't be future prosecution.

That is something opposed by Saudi Arabia and opposed therefore by most of the GCC countries who want this to be minimized. You also have a split within the military where of course the man who was formally the most loyal partner of President Saleh, General Mohsen al-Ahmar has pulled out and joined the opposition and taken the decidable portion of the military with him. So there is a growing concern that you could have a shooting war between forces loyal to general Mohsen and forces loyal to President Saleh.

So that throws a tremendous complication into the situation, but even just looking at the footage that you have been showing during this broadcast, you see that there are masses of young people who continue to be out on the streets in Sana'a and in other cities in the country and so I think that they would probably seriously question whether these opposition parties now trying to form a broader coalition really speak for them when they talk about reaching a compromise and a thirty day transition where President Saleh leaves and turns over power to the vice president or some unity government arrangement.

I don't think the youth on the streets are going to be satisfied with anything short of a much more profound change in the political situation in the country. So, I think that the two process is are being sometimes confused is wanting the same thing youth in the protests and the political calling themselves the opposition leadership are not really are not reading from the same script at this point.

SB/MB
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