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Muammar Eryany: Iran Perturbs Yemen’s Sectarian Coexistence | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Yemeni Minister of Tourism Muammar Eryany

Riyadh- Yemeni Minister of Tourism Muammar Eryany recently stated that regional parties, namely Iran, are relentlessly working on inciting sectarian divide in Yemen.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Eryany accused Houthis of attempting to foil the peace process with their adopted evasive approach at the current negotiations in Kuwait.

He also accused Houthi insurgents of planning to deceive the international community and rally against Yemeni constitutional legitimacy.

Eryany urged the swift implementation of U.N. resolution 2216, which translates into the restoration of statehood. One of the pressuring elements, making the resolution’s implementation crucial is the economic precarious status which is on the verge of collapse. Insurgent militias have taken over state authority, he explained.

Speaking on behalf of his assigned ministry, Eryany stressed that the sector of tourism in Yemen had been completely bulldozed. As for strategic plans serving national and regional economy, he revealed submitting proposals -currently under processing- to the neighboring Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Presented suggestions revolve around clearing liberated zones from terrorist groups, securing the safety of Yemenis and setting up the atmosphere for reviving economic activities, said Eryany.

Following is a set of questions answered by Yemeni Minister of Tourism Eryany:

How do you read into the insurgency’s evasiveness at the negotiations?

I can assure you that the Yemeni government had went to negotiations in Kuwait with earnest intentions on negotiating and absolute desire for achieving peace.

We speak on behalf of the government which is responsible for all Yemeni citizens, regardless of their political, sectarian or ideological affiliations. However, we realize that a number of regional parties do not wish peace, security or stability for Yemen. They wish for Yemen to continue being the chink in the Arabian Gulf’s armor.

International resolutions are clear cut; U.N. resolution 2216 especially revolves around stages that lead to restoring statehood. The implementation of resolution 2216 means the restoration of sovereignty and integrity for Yemeni citizens and dodges the chaos Yemen could enter.

How do you read into the controversy aroused on recent altercations taken by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi on appointing a new vice president and prime minister?

I was among the people who first commended the change. Frankly, comrade Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar has the sufficient military experience to support President Hadi in cementing security, stability and counterterrorism. Assigning him to his post was a wise decision.

As for Prime Minister Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr, he is a sophisticated politician and director who has practiced politics for decades with an experience on which Yemenis can rely. After the new assignments, the completion of supreme state institutions is now ready for taking on the upcoming phase.

How do you read into the northern-southern discord, and the Zaidiyyah- Shafi’i sectarian strife recently appearing in Yemen, in light of regional players feeding into that?

No sign on Sunni-Zaidi conflict have appeared since hundreds of year. Everyone coexisted with no apparent disputes. We should not mistake Hashimi tribe members for Houthis in Yemen.

Many Hashimi members have sizably contributed to kicking off the North Yemen revolution, which took place on 26 September 1962-1 December 1970. Based on that, it is wrong to categorize them as Houthis or Iranian followers.

Moreover, Houthis have made a huge mistake by getting on Iran’s side. For the upcoming period, I fear the sectarian, tribal and area-based divide will be the worst to be faced if reason and wisdom are not favored.

Do you believe that Iran is backing the current events in Yemen, as some suggest?

There is definitely a great attempt on encouraging sectarian sedition. Some went as far as claiming that preceding authority in Yemen was Zaidi-controlled and should remain that way. Yemenis have never been known to use such discriminative, hate-spurring language.