Analysts stress Kabul’s neutrality in Yemen war
KABUL (Pajhwok): Political analysts on Thursday voiced their concerns at Afghanistan’s decision to support Saudi Arabia in the kingdom-led coalition campaign against Yemeni rebels, asking Kabul to stay neutral in the conflict.
Yemen has descended further into chaos since a Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes a week ago against positions held by Shia rebels and their allies across the deeply tribal country.
The kingdom has launched efforts to muster support from Islamic countries in its campaign to stem advances by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
The Presidential Palace in Kabul late on Wednesday issued a statement saying the government of Afghanistan had announced its backing to Saudi Arabia on the Yemen crisis.
Political analysts expressed their resentment over the decision. Dr Faiz Mohammad Zaland, a political analyst, said the war would destroy both Yemen and Saudi Arabia. He suggested Afghanistan should remain neutral. “We should respect the demands of Yemen, not of other states in this conflict”, Zaland remarked.
Bashir Bezan, another political analyst, condemned the government’s decision and said “the government should have a foreign policy to be followed in this regard and not one’s desires.”
“It is a national issue, but the government took immediate action on the Yemen crisis. The government should have taken political, civil society, public representatives into confidence before announcing its decision.”
Mohammad Hassan Haqyar, another political expert, called the Yemen conflict a political issue and said the Kabul administration preferred American interests over Afghanistan’s interests.
The United States is a close ally of oil rich Saudi Arabia and provides complete support to kingdom’s intervention in its neighbouring country.
Haqyar said President Ghani should have considered Afghanistan’s relations with neighbouring Iran instead of supporting the Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen.
“Iran has interests in Yemen and Afghanistan’s support can lead to internal and religious strife in Afghanistan.” Haqyar said security of the holy mosques was responsibility of every Muslim, but the two holy places were safe and had not been attacked.
“It is a war between the Shiites and Salafis. The United States always plan to create such problems in the Gulf.”
The Houthi rebels, who are members of the Zaydi Shia sect, took control of the capital Sana’a last year and placed its president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, under house arrest.
Hadi escaped to his southern stronghold of Aden in early March, and the rebels attempted to storm his redoubt aided by troops loyal to the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was ousted after Arab spring-style protests in a deal negotiated by the Gulf states.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.