Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Can Gulf states really help Yemen?

Keeping Yemen unstable and poor could ultimately be seen as being in the best interests of the rest of the Arabian peninsula

Brian Whitaker, Wednesday 10 February 2010

"Following last month's international meeting aimed at saving Yemen from becoming a failed state, many hopes have been pinned on help that could be provided by Yemen's neighbours – and especially the rich Arabs club, the Gulf Cooperation Council.......

The other major problem with GCC involvement in rescuing Yemen is that a large part of the solution, aside from hard cash, lies in making its skeletal democratic system work – in particular through inclusivity, good governance, transparency and the ending of institutionalised corruption.

But the Gulf states are scarcely models of that themselves. It would look very strange to be promoting democracy and good governance in Yemen when they make so little effort to practise it at home, and ultimately a successful democracy in Yemen would undermine their own autocratic systems.

So this is the Gulf regimes' dilemma. In the long run, a peaceful, prosperous Yemen would benefit the whole region and its people. In the short term, though, the interests of their rulers are weighted against it."

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