Interviews

Sun - 10 Mar 2019 - 03:04 PM ،،،

Edited and Translated by: Sahar Noman


Member of the Presidium of the Southern Transitional Council, Lutfi Shatara, responded to important questions asked on the reason of the visit of the president of the Southern Transitional Council, Major  Aidros Al Zubaidi to Britain.

In a phone interview with the Southern local Radio ‘Huna Aden FM’, this is what Shatara said: "Many media outlets talked about the visit of the leader of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) to Britain. I think we need to explain why president Al Zubaidi visited Britain as his first visit to a European country.

 “ Britain is a country that makes decisions and its voice is heard, it has a historic heritage with us in the south. South Yemen was a British colony for 129 years.

Britain knows the political and civil history of the South and has a lot of documents and directories which prove that the South was an independent state and not a part of the North as some would like to claim.

He said " The British were very keen about the south. Before Al Zubaidi’s visit to Britain, the British encouraged us very much to take part in the Yemeni National Dialogue (YND)in 2013, they advised us, “ If you have a cause you need to take part in the dialogue”.

The British advise was to give the world and the international community a general and comprehensive idea of what the southern issue was. We were keen to engage in the National Dialogue to present our experience and at the same time to benefit from it. We wanted to put forward all the details of our southern issue in the dialogue. He said

Lutfi Shatara explained that the West always alleged that Southerners were not united and didn’t have a unified leadership. To them, we said, that the one benefit from the 2015 war was that it united the southerners on the ground and with their weapons they expelled the invaders. Those invaders thought that occupying the south again after 1994  would be easy, but they were wrong.
 
He added that the results of the 2015 war came with a new reality which confirmed to all, that the military belongs to the southerners.  Now the southerners believe that the south has one political voice which unites them all, as they agree that there is one cause which unites them and that the main aim is to restore the southern state.

He reiterated that Britain, as a decision-making body, is influential in the international resolution, the Security Council and the European Union and pointed out that some southerners, unfortunately, did not understand the importance of the visit of president Al  Zubaidi to Britain.

Al  Zubaidi’s visit to the  British Parliament was the first visit for a southern leader to  Britain since independence. He freely and confidently spoke of the will of the people of the South. People need to understand how important Al Zubaidi’s visit to the parliament was.  Members of the British Parliament invited him to come to the parliament.
 
Shatara stressed that the importance of the British Parliament to the STC was because Al Zubaidi went to the British Parliament with a Popular will.

In the second session, which was held the next day, the President of the British-Yemeni friendship society in Parliament Mr Keith Vaz was there as well as many others who are interested and close associates of the United Kingdom's decision-making circles in addition to politicians and researchers at the Strategic Studies centres.

He said that on the second day of his visit Al Zubaidi went to the British Foreign Affairs Ministry where decisions are made. Without a doubt all that was discussed and presented by Al Zubaidi in his visit to the Parliament and with the responsible authorities in Britain are considered historical documents and whatever went on in those discussion sessions cannot be announced publicly.

He stressed that the vision of Britain has always been to seeks security and stability in the region. Britain is not interested in being Yemenis or even in a united Yemen, the fact for them is that security and stability is a global issue.

Al Zubaidi stated that the Southerners live in a strategic area and he pointed out that since the Yemeni unity, security never materialized in this part of the world, Aden has not seen stability and development since the unity in 1990.

He pointed out that Ali Abdallah Saleh's regime was saying that his goal in the 1994 war was to eliminate the Yemeni Socialist party; That is what generated southern anger which led to the 2015 civil war. The unity of the southerners won them victory in the 2015 war in the south because they were united against the one enemy.

"We assure the world that, we as southerners, we will be your partners in all efforts to stabilize security and the fight against terrorism. The South presented its finest sons to eliminate terrorism which was planted by the Northern regime in the south since it united with it till this day.  It still attempts to keep it that way.

We at the STC will continue to fight, without any doubt, to implement the will of the people.

Lutfi Shatara explained that the speech of the president of the Southern Transitional Council, Al-Zubaidi, was historic and could be seen as the essence of a -Roadmap -which gives a clear message to the world and the international community that the southerners carry a vision and the will of the people of the south. ‘That message is that the southerners are ready to be partners with the world to achieve security, stability and the fight against terrorism’.

He also confirmed that the Southerners did not disagree with Britain when it left the south in 1967  as was France with Algeria. The Northern regime planted Al-Qaeda in the south following the 1994 war to demolish the southern issue.

He noted that  Al Zubaidi’s speech in the parliament was a  noble one towards the North and a human discourse which carried the customs and morals of the Southern people.

 He said, “ When Zubaidi spoke to the British Parliament he transferred the true language of the Southern people. The Southerners don’t have a grudge against the people in the north but the issue is a political one; It is about restoring two independent states”.
 
“There are political actors with a malicious agenda against the North and South, that agenda promotes other north-south differences, at a time when the international community is watching and aware of everything,” Shatara said.
Yesterday, I watched a seminar held in New York sponsored by Tawakkol Karman, the seminar focused on abusing the Arab coalition, the south and the Southern Transitional Council.

 Shatara said. “We can now affirm that there is a southern leader, Aidros Al Zubaidi, who carries to the world the message of the popular will and mandate of the southerners. This leaser’s first stop was at Britain, the country which once colonized the south. A country which bears the history and all the facts and documents of South Yemen.

We at the STC consider this visit a smart one.

He explained that the Southern Transitional Council, which includes various colours of the political spectrum since it was founded in 2017, has succeeded to spread in its first leg in the south. Its second leg succeeded because it was able to expand in all the southern governorates from Aden to Mahara and Bab El Mandab.

The Southern Transitional Council has a political and social presence; legislative institutions, a General Secretariat and soon it will have a Shura Council which will comprise of the finest southern expertise. These institutions will provide the Council with advice on the Council’s next steps along with the decision-making support centre, he said.

Shatara pointed that, “The Council also has institutions that will be established during the current year, which is the ‘Year of Empowerment’. During this year the true voice of the people of the south will be heard externally … It will be delivered after we expand our institutions in the south. This means that The visit to  Britain will be followed by several countries, God willing.

"I am a member of the ‘Communication Committee Team’ of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), which is tasked to create a dialogue with the southern brothers in the legitimacy. We will reach out to everyone.

We as Southerners say, “ It is impossible to return to the North or Sanaa, so it is up to the southerners to stay together," Shatara said.
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