Last week, the Friends of Yemen held a ministerial meeting in London. Since its previous meeting in New York in September 2012, this country has witnessed a host of remarkable events. The most important was President Hadi’s announcement of the official date for the National Dialogue Conference, scheduled for March 18. Yemen’s main political structures have already drawn up a list of participants, giving rise to the hope for wide-ranging representation at this historic event.
It is important for the international community to ensure that the Conference is well-timed and as goes as smoothly as possible in order to avoid interruptions to Yemen’s political process, the final goal being to hold new presidential and parliamentary elections in the country in February 2014.
We believe that, to achieve this goal, all Yemen's political actors should move beyond current disagreements and rally around President Hadi and the government of national accord.
Russia is ready to render further assistance to the Friends of Yemen as part of our oversight of national dialog issues, and to join forces with the European Union in efforts to engage those stakeholders that have not yet signed the Riyadh agreements.
This dialog, and indeed the whole political process in Yemen, should result in agreed solutions to key problems on Yemen's domestic agenda over issues including the state’s structure, new election legislation, and the country’s constitution. We also intend to continue our active collaboration with all partners that are witnesses to and guarantors of the implementation of those agreements that were signed in Riyadh on November 23, 2011.
Political support for a Yemeni settlement must be supplemented by measures aimed at providing the country with effective social and economic assistance. Our country continues to render assistance to Yemen, as a friendly country, in addressing these tasks.
Throughout all the difficulties and hardships that the Yemeni people have endured, Russian healthcare professionals have been there, working to help people across the country. Russian universities specializing in a variety of areas provide training for Yemeni personnel. We allocated 110 scholarships for their specialist and postgraduate education over the 2012/2013 period. Fifteen Yemeni diplomats successfully completed free-of-charge training at the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic Academy in November–December 2012.
Counteracting terrorist activities in Yemen is a specific issue that should be given priority attention. Successful, wide-ranging reforms in the country and an improvement in the general public’s quality of life depend hugely on how quickly and effectively this evil will be eradicated. We are ready to provide the competent authorities in Yemen with the necessary assistance in this sensitive area, and we urge all members of the international community to do likewise.
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