The President's speech

President Saleh's brief speech this morning has sparked a good bit of talk on Twitter and the blogs, mainly for his reference to "illegal mixing of the sexes" at anti-regime protests. With this and several other comments, this speech takes on a much more Islamic tone than we usually here from Brother President. It looks like he's trying on every outfit in his political closet, hoping one of them turns out to be bulletproof. It won't be this one; as you will see, he's not very good at sermons. For your edification, I'm posting the full English translation of today's speech here, as published by the BBC's World Monitoring Service. Enjoy.

In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,

O great crowds,

O brothers and sisters,

Peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you,

First of all, I would like to thank the crowds of the great Yemeni people - youth, men, women, and elderly - for these kind and abundant feelings, and thank those who came from all over the country to support constitutional legitimacy, freedom and democracy, and security and stability.

I would like to thank our great crowds in the Amanat al-Asimah [the governorate within Sanaa where government bodies and ministries are located], who came from all the governorates, and thank our crowds in Ta'izz Governorate, and the crowds in all governorates and districts for their kind and abundant sentiments.

These millions of demonstrators who came to these squares are saying yes to constitutional legitimacy. These are the crowds of 2006 [year of the Yemeni presidential elections, when Salih was elected], who said yes to freedom, to democracy, and to President Abdallah Salih as president of this ummah [global community of Muslims].

This is the message; it is a clear message to the whole world. This is a referendum for constitutional legitimacy. The crowds in Sanaa, Ta'izz, Hadramawt, Ibb, Al-Hudaydah, Hajjah, Amran, Raymah, Dhamar, Al-Bayda, Lahij, Abyan, and Shabwah are saying yes to constitutional legitimacy. These are our crowds in Al-Dali, in the proud Al-Mahwit Governorate, Sa'dah, Ma'rib, Al-Jawf, and everywhere. They support freedom, security, and stability, and reject chaos, the blocking of roads, and the killing of innocent people. They reject the stoppage of fuel pumping and the hindrance of the delivery of gas that the citizens need. However, the Joint Meeting Parties and the bandits are to bear responsibility for these acts.

These are our crowds gathered in Al-Sab'in Square; these are the unswerving and expressive crowds. No more lies through the satellite channels, through the Joint Meeting Parties, those pathetic souls, and those apostates. Stop lying to the people, and stop misleading them.

O great crowds, our loyalty is mutual. We salute you. However, the crowds of the Al-Jami'ah Street are the pre-2006 crowds. We call on them and call on the Joint Meeting Parties to use their conscience and to join dialogue in order to agree on one decision for the sake of the security and stability of this nation. I call on them to reject the mixing of sexes as it is forbidden by Islam; the mixing of sexes is forbidden in the Al-Jami'ah Street.

O brothers and sisters, from here, from the Al-Sab'in Square, I salute the heroic military institution and the brave security personnel for their endurance and for taking on their duties. They did not believe those outlawed, and did not answer their call to deviate from constitutional legitimacy. I salute the military and security institutions everywhere. Once again, I salute you for these abundant sentiments; our loyalty is mutual and this is our message to the whole world.

Peace, mercy, and blessings of God be upon you.

Source: Republic of Yemen TV, Sanaa, in Arabic 1047 gmt 15 Apr 11

BBC Monitoring