Abu Dhabi: Yemen’s Vice-President on Tuesday called for chalking out a roadmap for the future of Yemen and launching a “real Marshall Plan” for the country with the participation of the Arab League and the GCC.
The Marshall Plan (officially the European Recovery Programme, ERP) was an American initiative to aid Western Europe, in which the US gave $13 billion in economic support to help rebuild Western European economies after the end of World War.“Great efforts are needed to integrate and rehabilitate the country, and we all in Yemen and in neighbouring nations should work out a joint vision,” Khalid Bahah, who is also Prime Minister, told a press conference in Abu Dhabi.
Bahah said the Yemen’s per capita income fell to $500 from $900, whereas the average per capita income in the region is $5,000, stressing that more courageous measures are needed to launch a real project for Yemen.
Bahah said he and a number of other members of the government will return to the country. “When the government got out of Yemen, nearly 25 per cent of the members stayed back. This percentage will increase by the day,” he said.
He said no date has been set for the next round of peace talks. “Our message in this regard is talks should be honest and focused on opening safe gateways to deliver humanitarian assistance, lift the siege on Taiz and release of hostages,” he said.
“The Al Houthis and [ex-president Ali Abdullah] Saleh’s militia sought to block the next round of peace talks,” Bahah said, stressing that the Al Houthi militia are worse than Al Qaida and Daesh.
Bahah said that 80 per cent of Yemen has been liberated and the legitimate government has regained control of the liberated areas. “The Yemeni army and the popular resistance are approaching Sana’a... we hope that the capital city will be liberated peacefully. We also hope that the war comes to an end, which is why we want peace talks to stem the flow of blood.
Bahah said Tehran’s provocation is regretful and Iran should respect international laws and provide full immunity to the diplomatic corps. He hoped Gulf-Iran relations will be restored through sincere talks. “Iran has to give up the culture of violence and export of revolution,” Bahah said. He said that Al Houthi and Saleh militias manipulated the financial system to withdraw 1.5 trillion Yemeni riyals (nearly $6.98 billion) from the Central Bank.
The Central Bank reserves fell from $5.2 billion in 2014 to $2.3 billion in 2015, including the Saudi deposit of $1 billion, he added.