the 1962 revolution, the Yemen Arab Republic has issued laws to break
its isolation and to create an open society. What are the major achievements?
you had known Yemen before the 26 September revolution, and the
extreme backwardness of our economic, social, political and cultural
life, you would be convinced that the revolution was inevitable.
Before the revolution, the Imam's authority had squeezed the people
into a dark, narrow environment and built a fence round it to separate
them completely from the enormous progress taking place around
them. The people lived in internal isolation too. People did not
know each other, because of the lack of the simplest internal communications.
The state's relationship with the individual was one of exploitation.
It recklessly collected taxes which burdened the people heavily
without providing the simplest social services. This is why I tell
you that the revolution was, more anything else, a necessity in
revolution's achievements are in - numerable. In my view, the most
important were in giving the people the opportunity to benefit
from scientific and technological progress, setting up a modem
state, and transforming the economic, cultural and social infrastructure.
Our economy has leaped forward. We have our first comprehensive
five-year plan. We have created opportunities for education to
which there has been such a response that the state's resources
could not cope with the growing numbers. Socially, fife patterns
have changed, and thousands of kilometres of roads have been built
to link different parts of the country. Essential services have
been introduced into the heart of rural areas. Per caput income
has multiplied several times. We now have thousands of trained
people, while before the revolution we had very few. In short,
I can say that the revolution provided a major change in the quality
has been divided into two parts, North and South, but many people
consider it to be one country. What are the major reasons for this
was divided into little states and emirates a long time ago, especially
when the state was weak and politically loose. When it was strong,
there were several attempts to bring about political unity. Then
came the occupation.
The Turks ruled the north, while the British dominated the south. This was
in the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th. The occupation reinforced
Yemen's political differences. But unity of the people remains to the present
day, despite political division. I finally believe this division is a major
obstacle to us achieving our aims for progress.
that Yemen is divided politically, and maybe culturally as well,
what could achieve a lasting unity?
I told you before, by nature and practice the Yemeni peoples are
united, despite the continued political division. To achieve unity
it is necessary to expand and deepen economic, social, cultural
and political co-ordination so that we can build the foundations
for complete political unity.
you decided on any steps?
are focusing attention on continuing efforts to achieve the targets
of our first comprehensive five-year plan, which started at the
beginning of last year. Our biggest challenge is how far the plan
there any dialogue between North and South Yemen?
you are already aware of the efforts by both parts to achieve Yemeni
unity. Several committees have been set up to prepare for united
educational, economic and constitutional systems, as well as for
unity in other areas. The committees work regularly. The leaders
of both parts also meet regularly to study the committees' results.
Yemen appears to be adopting a moderate policy in its relations with
Arab states. How does the Arab- Israeli conflict affect your relations
with other Arab states?
in North Yemen are keen to support and strengthen Arab unity. We
want to keep Arab solidarity and unity. At the Arab level, our
foreign policy is based on a true desire to strengthen our relations
and co-operation with all Arab states. As for the Arab-Israel conflict,
we believe there can be no just and lasting peace in the Middle
East without the withdrawal of Israel from all Arab territories
occupied in 1967 and the recognition. of the national rights of
the Palestinian people, including the right to establish their
own state. Only then can we look for a just and lasting peace.
is your position on the Arab boycott of Israel?
East Economic Digest
me tell you frankly that the Arab boycott of Israel came about
as a result of aggression on the Arab states after the Zionist
movement - in co- operation with imperialist states - had used
force and terror to displace the Palestinian people from their
own land in 1948. In the past, many nations have used such boycotts
against aggressors. As long as Israel refuses to withdraw from
the occupied Arab lands and does not recognise the legitimate national
rights of the Palestinians, the boycott of Israel becomes an important
practice by sovereign states to protect legitimate Arab rights
and interests. We do not hold anything against the Jewish people
because of their religion or race. We are also Semites. But we
oppose the Zionist movement because it is racist, aggressive and