Here’s a clip I found on Youtube of the recent al-jazeera interview with Ali Abdullah Saleh. This section is on the recent cooling of the Yemeni-Saudi relationship. Mohammad Kharishan tries to say what everyone knows – that there is currently a lot tension between the two countries – in part due to the problems in the south and Yemen’s extradition request, and in part due to the ever-increasing numbers of Yemeni refugees from Marib and al Jawf who have been crossing the southern Saudi boarder as life gets harder in Yemen.
Saleh though, won’t even accept the premise that the relationship has gone sour, saying: “that’s what al-jazzera says. We didn’t say that…al-Jazeera says there is a crisis with Saudi Arabia, and this is al-Jazeera’s view. But we do not have any crisis with Saudi Arabia.
The Karishan then says “no, al-Jazeera didn’t say that…there were reports that there was supposed to be a meeting between Saudi and Yemen which was cancelled”…
Saleh: “No the meeting was a Saudi Yemen Coordination Council meeting and was to take place during Ramadan. But because of Umrah, it was not convenient for the Saudis to have it. It was postponed until the eighth day of Shawwal (Oct. 22). There is not a problem there, how can we consider it a crisis? That is the opinion of al-Jazeera or press hostile to the Kingdom or the relationship of Yemen and the Kingdom.”
al-Jazeera: “This news was published that said there is a crisis between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.”
…and the interview goes on with Saleh denying any problem exists.
Interesting thing though…news came out yesterday that the meeting has been “postponed” indefinitely.
Update: I found the text of the interview on the Yemen Government’s National Information Center website. It looks like the NIC text has been cleaned up a bit, but overall its accurate. There are some other good parts in there as well.