Saudi Arabia jointly chairs Friends of Yemen meeting in London
March 7, 2013
The Group of Friends of Yemen held a ministerial meeting in London today, under the joint chairmanship of Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United Kingdom. The one-day conference, which included the participation of 35 countries and organizations, was held to mobilize support for Yemen during its ongoing political transition.
The Saudi delegation was led by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani. During his remarks, Madani reaffirmed the Kingdom’s support for the Yemeni people. “This support emanates from the historic ties binding the two peoples as well as the belief of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud in the importance of supporting the Yemeni people in order to achieve stability and security,” he said. “Saudi Arabia has made every endeavor to help Yemen. During the past five years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provided $3 billion of aid for Yemen. Moreover, the Kingdom announced in the Riyadh meetings (held in May and September 2012) the provision of aid of $3.25 billion for Yemen. The Saudi Fund for Development supports the electricity sector in Yemen with $100 million.”
Upon the conclusion of the meeting, a final statement was issued by the British Foreign Office saying that the delegates had pledged to continue providing political, economic, security and humanitarian support for the government of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the Yemeni people. The statement stressed the broad-based support for the unity, sovereignty and independence of Yemen and rejected foreign interference into the country’s internal affairs. It noted that the participants reviewed a wide range of topics, including the status of the National Dialogue Conference and constitutional reforms; preparations for the February 2014 elections; the provision of $7.9 billion in previously pledged aid; the grave humanitarian situation; and the reform of Yemen’s military, security and justice sectors.
According to the statement, the delegates urged the Yemeni government to move forward with its plan to establish a commission to investigate human rights abuses and praised its efforts to fight terrorism. They also welcomed the appeal of the United Nations and its humanitarian partners for $716 million to provide support for the 7.7 million Yemenis in need.