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(From BBC Monitoring International Reports)
Text of interview with Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Salih by Ghassan Sharbil, in Sanaa; date not given, published under the headline "Praising Saudi-Yemeni reloations, expressing willingness to qualify Yemen to join the GCC, and calling on the Lebanese to abide by the constitution, Ali Salih tells Al-Hayah: We will not extradite Al-Zindani and let the Americans provide their evidence so that we can try him" by London-based newspaper Al-Hayat website on 27 February; subheadings inserted editorially
[Sharbil] The situation in the region looks very bad as you can see.
[Sharbil] How bad is it?
[Salih] It is as bad as you, in your capacity as a journalist, read and see on satellite channels. You follow up events in Palestine, Iraq, and Somalia, and all these incidents and explosions here and there. We did not like to see all that took place. We wanted to see calm and stability prevail in the region, but the situation gets worse every day.
[Sharbil] How do you view the situation in Iraq and the recent disturbing events there?
[Salih] This is an Iraqi affair that concerns the Iraqi people although we are sad and worried by what is going on there.
[Sharbil] Are you worried about the unity of Iraq?
[Salih] Yes, we are worried about the unity of Iraq and hope that Iraq will remain united, democratic, and independent. This is what we wish for Iraq.
[Sharbil] Do you think the Americans made a mistake in Iraq?
[Salih] You can direct this question to President (George) Bush to see if he was wrong or right. President Bush is the person to answer such a question.
[Sharbil] Regarding the Palestinian situation, you were the first to congratulate President Mahmud Abbas and brother Khalid Mish'al on the success of the elections. Do you think the Palestinian situation is currently in an impasse?
[Salih] There should be no impasse as long as all in Palestine chose to appeal to the ballot box and adopt the democratic option. As long as all the Palestinian factions, headed by Fatah, have adopted the democratic option, all should abide by the results of this option. Democracy should not be considered good only when it is in the interest of a certain faction and bad when it is not. The Palestinian people chose the democratic option and they should abide by the results of democracy and what was decided by the Palestinian people through the ballot box regardless of the results.
[Sharbil] Do you think Hamas can be a positive partner?
[Salih] It must be given a chance to prove its ability to be so.
[Sharbil] If the Islamists in Palestine succeed in ruling and showing flexibility, will this annoy the Arab countries like Yemen, especially since the Islamists are now accepted by the Westerners and Americans?
[Salih] Every country has its own circumstances. Yemen is not Palestine. We have our own circumstances and as long as people choose to go to the ballot box, they should accept the results. A mistake was made in what happened in Algeria. If the Islamists had been allowed to rule there, things would not have gone that far. We in Yemen have no problem in this regard. We have our own circumstances and the Islamists in Yemen participated with us in …