Asharq al Awsat – Jan. 7

Saleh to Stay in Yemen Until Veep Named President – Source

An official Yemeni source said President Saleh’s travel to US is not a priority in the current stage and that Saleh intends to stay in Yemen until the coming presidential elections and until his vice president is named the new president of the country.

“Discussing the issue of President Saleh’s travel to US is a media luxury. That issue is not part of the Gulf Initiative or its executive mechanism. The issue was settled this way: Saleh will stay in Yemen until the political process is completed,” said Abdul Hafeez al Nahari, chief of the Media Department in the General People’s Congress (or GPC – the ruling political party in Yemen) in a phone interview with Asharq al Awsat.

“GPC members requested President Saleh to stay in Yemen in this critical stage in order to help the organizational process inside the party and help the vice president succeed in managing the political process. The president answered their request,” he noted.

Al Nahari said some media tries to make a problem out of the issue of his travel or his stay in Yemen and, indeed, his stay in Yemen is a factor of stability and a helping element for the vice president. His presence in Yemen has helped a lot in unifying the GPC and the House of Representatives and also helped in shaping the new government and the military committee and helped in removing the obstacles in Sanaa, Taiz and other provinces.