Interviews

Lutfi Shatara member of the STC Presidency

Fri - 05 Jul 2019 - 01:27 AM ،،،


 Member of the Presidium of the Southern Transitional Council, Lutfi Shatara, disclosed the results and successes of the South-South dialogue. It was held between high profile southern figures among which were historical leaders, personalities from home and abroad, including members from the legitimacy.

He also said that the Arab coalition has stopped donating to the legitimacy financial support in his words Shatara used the metaphor  ‘closed the Tap’ on the government because of corruption issues.

"Since the beginning, the Southern Transitional Council has drawn up plans to achieve a south-south reconciliation and tolerance approach by conducting dialogues with all Southerners in the south and abroad. This came in an interview with ‘HUNA ADEN Radio’.

Shatara added that specific committees have been set up particularly to run the dialogue. The STC believes that the south will only be achieved with the cohesion of southerners. And that the south is the umbrella under which all the southerners negotiate without disagreeing on the details.

He noted that meetings were conducted abroad with prominent southern personalities in order to agree on the many commonalities that bind those historic Southern figures with the STC.

Shatara pointed out that in Ramadan before last, President of the STC commander Aidroos Al-Zubaidi and his deputy Sheikh Hani Bin Brik met with southern leaders in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi including President Ali Salem al-Bayadh, President Ali Nasser Mohammed, President Haidar Abu Bakr al-Attas and Khalid Bahah. At home, the STC has taken several similar moves when it met with the various southern components, including those who are not certain of the STC.

He reiterated that the STC continued to extend its hand to all the southern components, adding that whatever the differences may be they all agree on the fact that the people have the right to regain their state that is ‘a red line’ not negotiable. Apart from that, all other issues can be agreed upon including the expansion of the STC and agreeing on forming a unified southern negotiating delegation.

He also touched on the meeting which was held between Aidros Al-Zubaidi and Sheikh Amr ibn Habbrish yesterday and considered that it was a positive step on both sides. Confirming that the STC welcomes all southerners he said, “ These are also among the steps which the international community demands, that there be a southern consensus and we are currently working on it to prove to the International community that all Southerners are compatible to form a delegation to represent the South in any future negotiations”.

Lutfi Shatara said that the STC held a meeting at the Office of the International Special Envoy in the capital Aden with the presence of southern components including Fadi Baoum, Fouad Rashid and his group. The STC went there to prove that its leadership is more open and confirmed what commander Al-Zubaidi said last year in the rally at Al Mualla Stadium “Those who could not come to us, we will go to them”.

Shatara pointed to the role of the Speaker of the National Assembly-Chairman of the Southern Dialogue Committee Ahmed Saeed bin Brik through his dialogues with many southern parties to activate political work between the STC and the southern political components.

He added that a panel of the STC included himself and Amin Saleh liaised with the Minister of Interior Ahmed Al-Mayssri and reached to common points of consensus to form a working group comprising of members of the legitimacy and the STC. Shatara confirmed that he believes that the points will be implemented in the future stages.

"We want all southerners to feel that they have a place in the South, we do not want to have opposition from abroad. We want the opposition to speak freely from within the country. We had enough being displaced and scattered, people have been displaced and forced to live in exile because of fear of the practices of the previous ruler in the name of the Unity," Lutfi Shatara said.

He also stressed that the STC does not want to return to the past and does not wish to take away any southern powers, nor does it want to repeat previous experiences like what happened with the Unity without consulting the people.

He stated that now everyone agrees even the legitimacy agrees on the southern issue but it wants assurances. Al-Zubaidi always said we do not want to have power over the South, we want to restore the south and then the people decide to choose who presides. This statement can be found and is documented in the literature and documents of the Southern Transitional Council.

Shatara asserted that the South would be in the framework of an ‘autonomous federal state’.

"There will be no totalitarian regime that would allow any forces to take control of the south he said, adding “ We must learn from past experiences and reaffirm that the south is accessible to all, under the roof of the south we will agree on the details”.

 He noted that the southerners participated at the Sana'a National Dialogue to justify to the International community that they were aware that they would not sign the separation agreement but they went to prove to the international community that the northern powers do not want to build a state, they want to occupy, enslave and insult the southerners. That is when they disagreed to sign the agreement of two sectors a North and South before the international community.

Lutfi concluded his interview by saying, “ Currently there is no point of the forces and political parties in the north to put forward the option of a State comprising two territories after the  2015 war. The situation has changed the war created a new reality in which the southerners imposed themselves on their land and the southern resolution is in their hands. The forces and the northern parties rejected that choice of the two territories when they had the political and military power. The South-South dialogue contributed to joining the southerners, including those in the legitimacy. We call on all the Southerners to be sensible.The south will only be with all its sons.

In the same disposition, member of the Presidium of the Southern Transitional Council, Lutfi Shatara in a televised interview hosted by Wadea Mansoor on his weekly program Qadhayana on AL-Ghad Al-Mushreq TV, said that there is a real diplomatic crisis in legitimate government ‘s foreign ministry. The resignation of the  Foreign Minister Khalid al-Yamani caused ambiguity within the diplomatic corps. Shatara said, "This crisis was clear through what al-Yamani said that the crisis was a financial one more than it was a political one”.

"Al-Yamani said the crisis was financial, not political one although there was a political crisis in dealing with the international envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffith. The legitimacy put the  Arab coalition in an embarrassing situation when it appointed hundreds of elements of Islah (Yemen Brotherhood Party ) as ambassadors and attaches including Information and media professionals at the embassies of Yemen abroad.

Observers see that there is no need for such appointments in the current exceptional situation where authority does not have sufficient resources to administer its affairs.

"I am not saying that Griffith has been successful but also the legitimate government has failed to keep up with Sweden's agreement with the Houthis and if the legitimate government accepted to sign the agreement that means it must implement the agreement with the United Nations. The legitimate government found itself in exile and doesn’t have any power or say in the homeland.

Shatara speculated “How did the legitimate government agree to sign the Sweden agreement knowing that it could not implement it since all the forces do not follow the legitimacy i.e. The Southern Forces and the Amaliqa Forces?."
Shatara considered that the legitimate government’s signing the agreement is a  diplomatic error.

Member of the STC Presidency said, “We can say that the appalling Islah party appointments in the Yemeni embassies abroad as well as selling diplomatic passports publicly in addition to appointing relatives; all these breaches confirm that the Yemeni Foreign Affairs Ministry became an oasis of corruption on behalf of the legitimate government. The legitimate government is infiltrated by the (Muslim Brotherhood) on the diplomatic, political and military fields. That is why it did not achieve any accomplishments on the ground despite the support of the Arab coalition. Currently, all the Northern fronts are caught up and the battlefronts are against the south. President Hadi has to conduct urgent correction before it is too late.

He added: Many know that when Nabil Mesry was appointed Deputy foreign minister under the former Foreign Minister of the legitimate government Abdulmalik al-Makhlafi, Mesry began the process of reforming and correcting the course of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was not long till he was removed from  his position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was appointed as Ambassador of Yemen to the Kingdom of Spain, as well as Dr Riad Yassin when he was minister of Foreign Affairs aimed to reform the ministry, he was deported and appointed as ambassador to France. All that confirms that there is a lobby inside the legitimacy who disposes of anyone who seeks to conduct the process of diplomatic work.

He concluded his interview by saying that the Arab coalition is not an open tap, and it has the right to know where its funds go. Foreign minister Yamani and his talk about a financial crisis show that the coalition is stopping the flow of funds and financial support to the legitimacy.

Shatara concluded by questioning how can the legitimacy appoint a new representative to the UNESCO without appointing a minister of foreign affairs, all this in the absence of president Abdulrabo M. Hadi.