Nonresident Senior Fellow Nadwa Dawsari Quoted in The National on the Saleh-Houthi Alliance in Yemen

On August 21, 2017, POMED Nonresident Senior Fellow Nadwa Dawsari was quoted in The National in an article entitled “Ali Abdullah Saleh and Abdul Malek Al Houthi: Yemen’s destructive marriage of convenience heads for bitter divorce.”

The alliance was a marriage of convenience, one that Saleh used for survival and now views, perhaps prematurely during the 35-year celebration of his party, as no longer necessary.

“I think it is the one thing that we all see coming. This is an alliance of convenience to get rid of common enemies,” Nadwa Al Dawsari, a senior fellow at the Project on Middle East Democracy. “It lasted this long only because of the Saudi-led military intervention. The alliance was never sustainable because Saleh and Houthis are enemies and they never trusted each other.”

The split in the alliance seems to point towards Saleh positioning himself ahead of a political settlement to the conflict.

The Houthis have been nervous that Saleh will sacrifice them for a deal that includes him separating from the Houthis in exchange for guarantees for his family and for his party to play a role in the future of the country.

“And they are right to be nervous. Saleh has manipulated everyone and they won’t be the exception,” Ms Dawsari said.

The falling out between the two sides is likely to progress the political negotiations. While the Houthis publicly say they want an end to the war, the conflict provides scapegoat for the complete deterioration of the rebel-controlled areas.

Saleh, and his party, however might be open to political settlement given certain guarantees.

“He knows people are fed up with the Houthis cruelty and their corruption and he is capitalising on that,” Ms Dawsari said.

Read the full article here.