A few days after the signing of a deal that saw longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh transfer his powers to his deputy amid massive pro-democracy protests, Yemen has named opposition leader Mohammad Basindwa as interim prime minister.

The move is a turning point in the nine-month-old crisis. But it should not be looked at as a reward for the opposition, which agreed to the deal, sponsored by the six Gulf states. It should be the first step towards comprehensive reforms that would strengthen Yemen's unity and introduce a democratic system. Compared to other Arab states, the stakes in Yemen are much higher. The country's unity has been under threat, especially from the southern movement, due to Saleh's corrupt rule, which alienated the southern region. Also, the Al Qaida terror network managed to get a foothold in the country. Today, Yemen is at the threshold of a new era. A historic opportunity that must not be wasted.