President addresses nation on 17th Anniversary of Reunification

ANA’A, May 21 (Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivered a speech on the 17th Anniversary of the National Day of the establishment of the Republic of Yemen on the 22nd May, 1990. President Saleh congratulated Yemeni people on this great occasion. “Our celebration on this national occasion comes after a year, which is full of great achievements and Accomplishments at all walks of life,” he said. “Our people took part in the democratic and constitutional exercise represented in the presidential and local councils’ elections, which were held in a competitive, free and honest way recognized and praised by everyone inside and outside Yemen.” Development Projects: He made it clear that inauguration and laying down of foundation stones for development projects at the cost of YR 426 billion would take place during the celebrations on the occasion. President also pointed to results of the London Donors Conference, which was held in November of last year, in which Yemen managed to get five billion US dollars as financial pledges from donors. “We are looking forward that the donors would fulfill their commitments for the implementation of strategic projects to alleviate sufferings of poverty and unemployment and create new job opportunities for citizens,” he said. Government Commitments: President Saleh urged the government to move forward for the interpretation of aspired goals of construction in accordance with its program through which it received vote of confidence from the parliament. He said: “The government should also complete administrative, economic and financial reforms within the framework of the national reforms bylaw and implementing the presidential electoral program.” He also asked the government to find out effective mechanisms to control and monitor prices and combat high prices and monopoly in a way that would guarantee a stable level of living standards for citizens. Investment: Regarding investment, President Saleh asked the government to give more attention, care for investment issues, and provide attractive and appropriate investment circumstances. The government should simplify measures through one stop shop that is the General Investment Authority and according to the results of the conference of Exploring Investment Opportunities in Yemen, which took place in Sana’a last April, he said. “We and the government would give special attention and care for investment issues,” Saleh added. Democracy and Human Rights: President Saleh said that the victory of unity coincided with the democratic policy based on multi-party system, political pluralism, freedom of expression and opinions, freedom of the press, women empowerment and respect of human rights. “Yemen has achieved an advanced stride in an embodiment of the people’s ruling their own affairs through peaceful succession of power and ballot boxes,” he said. He said: “We have learnt a lot from the school of democracy. We call upon all effective political parties and organizations in the national arena to conduct a responsible dialogue on all issues of concern to the homeland and its future.” Saleh confirmed commitment of the government with giving care and follow up such dialogue in order to come out with results that achieve supreme national interest. President called on all citizens for further cohesion and national consolidation for the enhancement of the national unity and combating all forms of separation and Extremism, stirring malice, malevolence and hatred among citizens. He also called on all media, cultural and educational apparatuses should play its national role to enhance positives and denounce negatives, mobilize efforts for the national construction process, build up a new well-educated generation free of the past’s remnants of the Imamate rule, colonial and separation eras. President Saleh said that “Our priorities during the coming period is the enhancement of the democratic experience through the adoption of some constitutional amendments for the establishment of two legislative chambers and improvement of the local councils’ experience and expanding the councils’ authorities. He urged the government and the parliament to quickly pass the law of the local authority’s development to insure decentralization, election of governors and heads of administrative units. “We also urge the government and the parliament to complete measures of the establishment of the National Authority to Combat Corruption and the issuance of the Tendering Law. He called on the legislative and judicial authorities and the auditing and monitoring apparatus to play their roles in punishing all those who misuse public funds. Terrorists in Saada: In his speech, president Saleh highly praised personnel of the armed and security forces for sacrifices and generous giving for the defence and protection of the homeland, its sovereignty, security, stability and the preservation of its accomplishments and achievements. “We highly evaluate your and all honest citizens’ heroic confrontation against those terrorist elements which broke out sedition in some of areas in the province of Saada and want to over throw the republican regime and take the homeland back to the eras of oppression and tyranny of the primitive Imamate rule.” He said that the state has and is still exerting all efforts to stop blood shed and convince those terrorist elements who broke law and order to stop their acts of terror and sabotage. “We announced general amnesty twice following the break out of the sedition in both Maran and al-Rozamat. Restoration process of damages resulted by the war in Maran and al-Rozamat took place while prisoners on charges of breaking out the sedition were released. He pointed out to several mediation teams that have been sent to those elements to convince them come down from their strongholds in mountains, hand over their heavy and medium weapons, abandon killing of citizens and personnel of the armed and security forces, stop acts of sabotage on public and private installations and end banditry. “But they continued on their diverted and subversive path. Therefore, honest citizens in Saada, religious clerics, Sheikhs, social dignitaries, youths and all citizens should carry out their responsibilities in addition to the duties of the armed and security forces in confronting those terrorists and saboteurs who defamed the heroic history of the citizens of Saada province,” he said. He renewed call to “the misled elements” to abide by the decision of the National Defence Council and the statement of the Yemeni religious scholars to surrender and hand over their heavy and medium weapons to the government. “We would guarantee a fair trial for them as a result of the war crimes they committed against citizens and personnel of the armed and security forces and damages that they inflicted to development in Saada province and the homeland in general. Modernization of Army and Security National Institution Addressing armed and security forces, president Saleh expressed fully confident that the army and security along with all honest citizens of the homeland would achieve shortly God willing victory and wipe out that sedition, uproot those who were behind it, enhance security, stability and public tranquility in Saada province in particular and the homeland in general. He affirmed continuation of providing care and support for families of martyrs, wounded and handicapped in the armed and security forces as well as volunteers from citizens in an appreciation and recognition of the great sacrifices and national duty they provided. “We would continue the process of building up and modernization of the armed and security forces to enhance the defensive and security capabilities,” he said. He added that personnel of army and security forces would receive all care and support in order to raise their living standards and improve their educational qualifications to cope with modern changes. A Call for Further Arab Solidarity: President Saleh called for enhancing solidarity to face current challenges surrounding Arab and Islamic nations.”The current challenges require unity of ranks, enhancement of solidarity, integration and coordination to encounter security, development and cultural challenges and combat radicalism, extremism and terrorism,” he said. He also called to reactivate mechanisms of the joint Arab work, the establishment of the Arab and Islamic Common Market and the establishment of two Arab and Islamic Funds to finance the implementation of development projects in Arab and Islamic countries. “Arab and Islamic efforts should be consolidated to take advantage of the nuclear power for peaceful purposes especially for the generation of electricity,” he added. President Saleh renewed support of Yemen for the Palestinian people. He said: “We feel regretful for developments in the occupied Palestine. It is our duty to stand with our brothers in Palestine to end the siege imposed on them and support their legitimate struggle to regain their rights including the establishment of the independent Palestinian state on its national soil with Al-Quds (Jerusalem ) as its capital and insuring the right to return for refugees. “He called on the international community on top of which the United States of America and the UN Security Council permanent member-states to exercise pressure on Israel to accept the Arab peace initiative which was adopted by the Arab summit in Beirut and reconfirmed by the Riyadh summit. “The initiative represents the minimum level for the achievement of just and everlasting peace in the region,” he said. Regarding current situations in Iraq, Somalia and Darfur, president Saleh called for holding national reconciliation conference as soon as possible among all Iraqi parties with their different political, social and cultural trends in order to maintain security and peace in Iraq, end occupation and build up a democratic, free and independent Iraq. He also renewed call to stand with the people of Somalia who have been exhausted by the war and to support efforts of the transitional government for the achievement of Reconciliation and peace in Somalia and reconstruction of the state’s institutions. He highly appreciated efforts exerted by Sudan to resolve the problem of Darfur. He reaffirmed support of Yemen for Sudan, its sovereignty, unity and stability. He concluded his speech by saying that national ambitions and aspirations would remain high and big in order to achieve more and more on the path of building up the new Yemen of dignity, freedom, unity and democracy. AH/AMSABA