INTRODUCTION: The North Yemen opposition party, the National Democratic Front (NDF) organised a rally in Beirut, Lebanon on Sunday (15 February) to mark the fifth anniversary of its formation.
SV PAN Audience listening to speakers at Beirut rally.
CU Sultan Abdullah Ahmed Omar speaking.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: The North Yemen opposition party, the National Democratic Front (NDF) organised a rally in Beirut, Lebanon on Sunday (15 February) to mark the fifth anniversary of its formation. North Yemen has never been colonised or occupied, and is a natural buffer state between Marxist South Yemen and conservative Saudi Arabia. But the NDF, based in Aden, and backed by the Marxist South, objects to what it calls Saudi interference, and strongly favours a united socialist Yemen.
SYNOPSIS: The anniversary rally was attended by Palestinian and leftist leaders. Posters hailed the "martyrs of the Yemeni revolution". Yasser Abed Rabbo, a Palestinian leader, told the crowd that imperialism was perpetrating a "new conspiracy" in Lebanon against the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). Both Yemen administrations voiced deep concern last autumn over a build-up of foreign military presence in their area.
The leader of the National Democratic Front, Sultan Abdullah Ahmed Omar, levelled a strong attack against traditional targets -- imperialism and Zionism. He single out the United States and Saudi Arabia for allegedly interfering in regional affairs, working to ensure that South Yemen stays firmly on the side of the West.
The United States has acquired military facilities in Oman, Kenya and Somalia as a response to the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. And the Soviet Union uses South Yemen as its main Indian Ocean base. Discussions began more than a year ago for the unification of the two Yemens, but so far, the Committees set up have reached no bases of agreement. And reports say that no Yemeni believes it will happen. The exiled NDF spearheaded South Yemen's attack last year on the North. Sultan Omar voiced his approval of socialism and the Soviet Union.