President Saleh lectures on unity, urges opposition to engage in dialogue

SANA'A, March 13 (Saba)- President Ali Abdullah Saleh has paid an inspection visit to the Higher Military Academy, including the Command and Staff College, Higher War College, National Defence College and the Strategic Studies Centre. After he was briefed on the study programme at the Academy, President Saleh delivered a lecture before the Higher Military Academy students in the presence of the faculty members in which he addressed many issues and developments on the national arena. Saleh said that this is the era of information, modernization and development at the cultural, political, social and military levels. "Several classes have graduated from the faculties of this academy and their performance was excellent within the military institutions in various departments whether ground, naval, or aerial. They had a distinct and significant role in serving the goals of development and modernization of the armed and security forces", He added. Saleh also urged the deans and professors of academic schools to dedicate the student's scientific researches for scientific evaluation of the performance of the military institution, including its ground, naval, and aerial departments. He affirmed that the goal behind establishing these academies was to link the aspects of the researches conducted in the higher military education to the evaluation of the performance of the military and security institution to ensure that the upsides are reinforced and the downsides are avoided. The President pointed out that the graduates from the faculties of the military academy are assigned to the different departments and divisions of the military institution on its ground, naval, and aerial levels. He added that the military is considered a major national institution that the great Yemeni people pin their hopes, present and future on in order to achieve development, progress and prosperity in all aspects, for everyone is aware that without the national military institution, there would be no complete freedom or development to reach the desired goals. The President affirmed that the complete sustainable development and achieving the desired cultural revival is linked to the existence of a strong military and security institution, which sustains the foundations of security and stability, protects the achievements and gains of the nation and defies all kinds and forms of malicious and despicable conspiracies. He noted that the military and security institution was honoured to courageously confront the conspiracy that had been targeting our people and seeking to hamper the path of the people's development and prosperity since the dawn of the blessed September and October revolutions. "The apostasy sedition and the attempt to secede in the summer of 1994 as well as the sabotage and rebellion sedition in Saada of those outlaws, who deviated from the legitimacy and took up their arms against the state in an attempt to reinstate the clerical Imamate, have all been shattered on the rock of awareness of the students of this honourable and heroic military institution", the president added. He continued by saying: "We have sacrificed convoys of martyrs from our finest officers, and soldiers, who, out of their love and loyalty to our dear homeland, quenched the thirst of the homeland with their blood so that its people would live in security, stability and reassurance. They defended the homeland's gains and its holy constants represented by the revolution, republic, and unity." President Saleh said that the current state of the country along with the people's achievements and victories during the blessed revolution and union eras, were realized thanks to the sacrifices of this military institution's heroes and their September-October consciousness. "This great institution, along with all the honourable sons of the nation, has thwarted the plots of the country's enemies. It also suppressed the sedition and silenced the malicious tongues, which were aiming at fuelling sedition in Saada and all the parties that tried to incite the authorities to wage a war in Saada in order to rid them of their rivals there. At the same time these parties were inciting outlaws in Saada to take up arms against the state in an attempt to settle scores with the government". The President revealed that these parties tried to settle their accounts with their rivals, who were barricaded in Saada, pushing them towards being eliminated by the armed security forces. ‘’These parties were pushing these elements to act against the law, order and legitimacy and clash with the political regime. This plot is now thwarted and has completely failed. The military operations have also been halted’’, Saleh added. He expressed his sadness for the way the opposition parties under the banner of the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) were dealing with the national issues, the sedition and the plots targeting the country, its security, stability and principles. ‘’These parties under the banner of the JMP and which claim that they are political forces are unfortunately politicized and not political. We are failing to see the purpose of their behavior’’, he said. ‘’As the country's president in charge of all the political forces, I must say that unfortunately, we do not know what they want. They fuel fires wherever they see them, whether in Saada or in some southern or eastern districts’’, the president explained. He further said that these parties were unfortunately identified with the secessionists and protest against the regime when these secessionists block roads, kill people and loot shops in some southern and eastern districts. ‘’They wonder where the regime and the law are, but when the regime and the law step forward to stop those committing these crimes and acts of sabotage, they start condemning the regime. They also regard the parties concerned who exercise their constitutional and legal tasks to stop the criminals and maintain the security and stability, as carrying out repressive campaigns. This is extremely surprising... This is extremely surprising’’, Saleh added. The president addressed these parties asking: "What do you want? You are against the war in Saada and demand that it be stopped, but at the same time you fuel its fire and say that the government does not apply the law and the constitution on the outlaws in some southern and eastern districts. When the government fulfils its duties, you consider its measures as 'actions oppressing freedom and call for demonstrations and rallies to support these outlaws, noting that you have been in an opposition state ever since the JMP entity was formed". Saleh pointed out that Yemen is a country based on democracy and political diversity. "Reach power through the ballot box. This is made available to all through the voting process as long as we believe in democracy and the peaceful rotation of power. Do not seek power by blocking roads, sabotaging, killing the sacred souls, demolishing, protesting, and obstructing the process of development", he added. He also stressed that the authority is not exclusive to anyone, it belongs to all. ‘’Join the power through the official channels, through the ballot boxes whether for the local, parliamentary, and presidential authorities or the civil society organizations. We have to resort to the ballot boxes and respect the country's laws, regulations and constitution’’, the President added. Saleh addressed the military academy members saying: "Indeed, we have put an end to the war, which had been raging for seven months. During this war, we sacrificed our best officers and soldiers in defence of our republican regime and the country's unity, which we declared on 22 May. We will protect this great gain in the same manner we protect everything we hold dearest to our hearts. This is an achievement that the people of Yemen take pride in. It is an Arab nationalist achievement as much as it is Yemeni". ‘’The malevolent warped forces longing for power want to destroy this temple. But they, as well as others, are more likely to get to the moon before they can even lay a hand on this temple. Just like our people stood against the remnants of the imamate and defeated them in the mountains of Al-Nahdayn, Ayban and Zifar, and just like they defeated the forces opposed to the October Revolution in the Shabwah and in Hadramout, they are also able to valiantly fight every conspirator that might surface now or in the future’’. He also stressed that the military institution was established in order to protect the country, its lands, seas and air, adding that it will not be a force of suppression and that the political life will not be militarized. ‘’We believe in democracy and in the freedom and diversity of opinions without offending anyone, harming the country and its interests or pledging loyalty to foreign sides’’, President Saleh also said. Addressing those who want to destroy the temple, the President said: "You cannot lie to this country or feign crying for its sake while at the same time you seek to destroy it. You watch booby-trapped cars and explosive belts being detonated, yet we never hear you condemning them. On the contrary, we see you smiling and relaxed in front of all these victims -the victims of the bombings in Shibam, Sayun, Marib and Sana’a -instead of condemning these terrorist Al-Qaeda acting against the law and order". "You were smiling when Al-Qabati was killed in his store in Lahj province. You considered such act to be a good deed because it was carried out against the law and order and you stated that the regime is starting to fall apart and perish... You believe that by doing so you will ascend to power, but this will not happen unless you resort to the ballot boxes, freedom and democracy". ‘’The General People Congress (GPC) had concluded the February agreement with you. By doing so, the GPC made a mistake. The elections should have been held on time, but you created a crisis and dragged the GPC into signing the February agreement. That was a huge mistake, and the elections should have been held regardless of whether you participate in it or not. You are a free people, and your boycott of the elections falls within the realm of democracy’’. He went on to say: "who says that the GPC wants to run alone in the elections and compete with itself is a liar. We are acting according to the constitution and the law. The GPC made a mistake that will not be repeated. The GPC should not commit the same mistake. Let this period stated in the February agreement elapse, and let the elections be held on time. We welcome both; those who want to participate as it is their right to participate, and those who do not wish to participate as it is also their right". ‘’The country is larger than the political forces. It is no longer like it was prior to 22 May. Now, this country is glorious. We call on these political forces to return to their sense and reason, stay away from boastfulness, arrogance, and chaos, and refrain from destroying the temple, for they will be the first victims. This temple shall not be destroyed. But, God forbids, in the event of chaos, these forces will be primarily held responsible, and our people are well aware of their identity", he highlighted. "We call on them to return to reason, and have recourse to logic and rationality. We urge them to refrain from holding a dialogue with themselves, but rather to engage in a dialogue with the various forces of the political spectrum. Sabotage is easy, using the mattock of destruction and sabotage is very simple. But, building one stone at a time is rather difficult. For instance, anyone can destroy a large building in a matter of hours, but to build it takes not months but years. Similarly, it took us years and long decades to build the country", President Saleh added. ‘’If the so-called Southern Movement and the other forces have particular demands, they should present them through the political channels, the Parliament, the Shura Council, the local councils, local conferences and local authority councils. We tell them to come forward and engage in a dialogue with their brothers in power, and we will speak to them. We are extending our hand for a dialogue away from violence, road blocking, killing the sacred lives and raising the separatist flag’’. "I am sure that the separatist flags will be burned in the coming days and weeks, for we have one flag that we have agreed upon at our own free will. Any other political demands are welcomed. Let us engage in dialogue. Now, we will form committees made up of the people of the provinces to engage in dialogue with these forces, if they agree to dialogue. The forces present in the parliament, Shura Council, and local council negotiate with those who have genuine claims, which we will warmly welcome and work to address, but we refuse to create a culture of hatred, racism and regionalism." The President touched upon the extent of the development changes that the southern and eastern provinces witnessed in light of the unity. He pointed out that everyone is aware of Hadramout's condition before the unity, and what has become of it now. He pointed out that at the time Saada was the flagship province until it was subjected to destruction and devastation by the outlaw elements of insurgency and sedition. Saleh also urged the deans and professors of the academic colleges to provide students with accurate and correct information for developing their academic research, and urge them to be careful in choosing their reliable scholastic and historical sources. ‘’When we look for sources on events in Yemen from the time of the Revolution 48 years ago until today, we will find that they are filled with wonders, for we find ramblings, liars, deceitful people and sycophants. In these sources you will also find those who claim to have contributed to and fought in the stages of defending the Revolution at a time when they had left at the beginning of the Revolution to ride motorcycles in Bab Shua’b or in Bab al-Yaman, and when they acquired spare parts, they registered themselves as strugglers. Yet, there are many officers, soldiers and heroes who were fighting in battles and nobody knows anything about them. There were strugglers who did not like to talk about their roles and preferred self-denial’’, he made it clear. ‘’There are people that remain unknown, while there are others who profited, gained, and stepped on the skulls of martyrs. They become well-known, traded and made deals at the expense of the lives of the martyrs’’ At the end of his lecture, President Saleh wished success to the members of the academy, urging them to be well-disciplined and attain an excellent education because they will become leaders in the armed forces and hoping they reflect in their work what they obtain from the military information and education in order to serve the goals of development and modernization of the military and security institution. Saba