Yemeni president ‘will stay in power as long as it takes’

Another country that has suffered months of civil unrest is Yemen. Its president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, announced on Saturday that he is to step down in the coming days.

­This follows nine months of violent protests, with the opposition demanding an end to Saleh's 33-year rule.

But Sabah al-Mukhtar, president of the Arab Lawyers’ Association, believes Saleh's assurance that he will step down is nothing but an empty promise.

“Over the last nine months, I think, he must have made 130 odd speeches, and in every single one of them he said he is going to leave power. In every single one of them he promised that he doesn’t want to run as president, and in every single one after he finished, he stayed in power. This is absolutely no different from anything before,” al-Mukhtar told RT. “I think no one believes what he is saying.”

The lawyer insists it is the Americans who allowed Saleh to return to Yemen from Saudi Arabia, because “he is on their side.”

“This man is willing to stay in power as long as it takes. He is playing the same role, saying that if the Russians and Chinese can keep the Syrian regime there, the Americans will keep me here, especially as he is willing to do anything they want – whether he teams up with Al-Qaeda or against Al-Qaeda, with Iran or against Iran,” he said.

“When he went to Saudi Arabia, it was an exit policy, which the Americans have organized with the Gulf states, so that he stays away and then, somehow, he can leave power,” al-Mukhtar continued. “But now that they allowed him to go back, it is very clear that they intend to keep him there, and probably it’s going to be another bloody quagmire, similar to the one we have in [Syria], whereby the Americans will continue to back Ali Abdullah Saleh, and people [will] continue to be killed.”