In Cairo an emergency session of the Arab League Council voted to impose an economic and political boycott on South Yemen, following allegations of South Yemeni involvement in the assassination of the President of North Yemen, Ahmed al-Ghashmi on the 24th of June.
In Cairo an emergency session of the Arab League Council voted to impose an economic and political boycott on South Yemen, following allegations of South Yemeni involvement in the assassination of the President of North Yemen, Ahmed al-Ghashmi on the 24th of June. The conference was called on Saturday (1 July) at the request of the North Yemeni government. President Ghashmi was killed by a parcel bomb carried by a South Yemeni envoy. Two days later, the President of South Yemen, Salem Robaya Ali, was executed after a day of fierce fighting in Aden. President Ali was arrested and shot after he had refused to attend a government debate on the assassination of President Ghashmi and he has since been accused of ordering the bombing of the Presidential Palace, where the meeting was being held. The former Prime Minister of South Yemen, Nasser Mohammed was later proclaimed the new President.
SYNOPSIS: Only 16 of the 23 members of the Arab League Council attended the Cairo meeting. The South Yemeni representatives were absent along with the four other Atab countries known as the "rejectionist" states - Syria, Iraq, Algeria and the Libyan Jamahiriyah. These members and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation have refused to attend any conference held in Cairo as long as the Egyptian government continues to work towards a peace settlement with Israel. Djibouti, the most recent member of the Arab League, also stayed away.
The North Yemeni proposal to boycott South Yemen, marked the first time the League had considered taking sanctions against a member state since it was founded in 1945. Originally the North Yemeni Foreign Minister, Abdulla al-Asnag, had asked that South Yemen he expelled from the League. But this motion fell since the constitution demands that all members be present to vote on such a move. Under the chairmanship of the Sudanese ambassador to Egypt, Mohammed mirghani, the League payed a silent tribute to the late President Ghashmi before the session began.
Mr. Mirghani addressed the League, which later, on Sunday (2 July), voted unanimously in favour of the North Yemeni motion. The league decided to "freeze" all political and diplomatic relations with South Yemen. They condemned the assassination of President Ghashmi as a "morbid crime" and harshly criticised all those involved in the murder. The League called on all Arab countries to suspend technical aid to South Yemen. During the session, the League denounced Communist involvement in South Yemen. The embargo will only be lifted if the Soviet-backed Aden government agrees to stop following Marxist policies.