June 10, 2015

AGSIW in the Media

AGSIW Executive Vice President Stephen Seche, former U.S. ambassador to Yemen, appeared in the Al Jazeera film “Al Qaeda Informant” in which a former al-Qaeda operative speaks with Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit about the government of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Seche said Saleh was “an absolute master at working all the different constituencies in the country, making sure that some kind of equilibrium was achieved and maintained to his interests.”

Additionally, Seche spoke on NPR’s Weekend Edition about the conflict in Yemen, ahead of peace talks scheduled for June 14. Seche said the only way to resolve the conflict is to get all the parties to the table. He noted, “There’s an ability within Yemen, a culture of tribal mediation, of conflict mediation, on the part of elders and others. So there’s a sense that Yemenis can work out their problems.”

For Voice of America, Barbara Slavin discussed the crisis in Yemen, referencing the panel discussion “The Conflict in Yemen: Searching for the Endgame” held at AGSIW on June 4. She highlighted the remarks of Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani, a Yemeni political analyst and president of TAWQ, a non-governmental organization that advocates democracy, that Iranian influence over the Houthis has been exaggerated and that the conflict in Yemen is primarily a domestic matter. In an analysis of the event on peacefare.net, Eddie Grove discussed the conflicting perspectives on Yemen by Al-Iryani and Fahad Nazer, political analyst with the intelligence consultants JTG, Inc, stating, “Nazer emphasized the Saudi view that the Houthis represent Iranian encroachment into Saudi Arabia’s backyard, while Al-Iryani expressed the view that the Houthis’ concerns are mainly domestic and that links between Iran and the Houthis are tenuous.”