In a TV interview, former Yemeni president Ali Abdallah Saleh said that the Arab Spring - which he called the "Zionist Spring - was a Zionist-Western conspiracy to "bring down the pan-Arab enterprise."
Following are excerpts from the interview, which was broadcast by the Egyptian CBC network on November 24, 2014.
Interviewer: You mentioned the "so-called" Arab Spring.
Ali Abdallah Saleh: It was a Zionist Spring.
Interviewer: Please explain why you call it the Zionist Spring.
Ali Abdallah Saleh: Since there was no democracy in some Arab countries, young people expected this "Arab Spring" to improve things, in culture, economy, security, and politics. But instead, it brought about a sweeping anarchy as you can see in Libya, Tunisia, Yemen, and Syria, as well as in Egypt. This led the youth and the people who sought improvement to despair. I was one of the rulers, but I hoped that they would give rise to someone who would function better than me and my government.
Interviewer: Would such a thing have made you happy?
Ali Abdallah Saleh: Completely happy. But it brought nothing but anarchy, the disintegration of nations, the destruction of the infrastructure and the economy, and the deterioration of the army and security services. The Muslim Brotherhood entered the units of the army and security services, with no training, qualifications, or organization. Anarchy! That is why I called it the "Zionist Spring."
Interviewer: Do you think it was a Zionist-Western conspiracy?
Ali Abdallah Saleh: Absolutely. They wanted to bring down the pan-Arab enterprise, which existed since the days of the late Abd Al-Nasser.