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Friends of Yemen meeting in London – Support for government, inclusive political process needed, says Terzi

The message emerging from the “Friends of Yemen” international meeting held in London today, 7 March 2013, was one of strong support for the Yemeni Government to continue in the political process currently under way. The “Friends” reiterated the importance of the transition being inclusive and free from interference that might hold back the process. These were the key points reported by Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi at the end of the meeting in the British capital.

Attempts to interfere must be avoided

The meeting in London was an opportunity to reiterate the already strong international support for Sana’a to continue along this road, not least in light of next year’s presidential and parliamentary elections. “Everyone agreed that inclusiveness is a vital element of the transition”, explained the Minister, “and on the need to avoid any interference that might hold back the process”.

Helping the country out of extreme poverty

“Yemen has embarked on the road to national reconciliation”, continued Terzi. He underscored the vital need for the international community to support the development of a country “that is trying to find its way out of extreme poverty”. A commitment that was renewed in London today, and which is closely linked to the issue of security.

85 million euros in 3 years from Italy

Italy’s contribution to Yemen’s development is a vital one. Minister Terzi pointed out that our country has already invested 85 million euros over 3 years, of which 45 million since September 2012. Of this last tranche, 20 million euros will be used on the maritime security front.

Today’s meeting, the fifth in this format, is the result of “an initiative started by Italy three years ago”, noted Terzi. He reiterated that the situation in Yemen is hugely important “for the stability of the region – a large area extending from the Gulf, to the Horn of Africa, to Suez – but also for global security”.

Syria: strong message emerges from Rome meeting

On the question of regional security, Terzi returned to the meeting of the “Friends of Syria” which took place in Rome last week [28 February 2013]. In that forum, participants called for a “political process” and sent out “a strong signal to the opposition”. Terzi, who discussed Syria with his British colleague, William Hague, noted that the United States “have showed their commitment to making a more marked contribution” with respect to the Syrian crisis. “A development”, said Terzi, “that emerged during the discussions in Rome, which sent out a strong message”.

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