Kingdom hosts Friends of Yemen meeting, pledges $3.25 billion in aid

May 24, 2012

Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal inaugurated in Riyadh yesterday the 3rd Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of Yemen. The Group includes the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, Malaysia, China, Germany, France, Denmark, India, the United States, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Russia, South Korea, Australia, the Netherlands, Italy, Indonesia, and major international organizations.

In his speech, Prince Saud said, “I emphasize here once again to our brothers in Yemen that we all stand by them, support them for the completion of the stages of the initiative associated with the political process, assist them in achieving security, stability and prosperity, and confront the threats of extremism, terrorism and attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of Yemen, and incite sedition and differences between them.” He declared, “The security, stability and development of Yemen are international responsibilities and their repercussions for international security justify international obligations to meet the requirements of development in Yemen.”

Following their deliberations, the participants issued a final communiqué stressing their full support for the unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Yemen. They welcomed the commitment of the Yemeni government to the political process based on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative, as well as its compliance with U.N. Security Council Resolution No. 2014. The communiqué also confirmed the strong commitment of Yemen and its allies to fighting terrorism and rooting out Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

After the meeting concluded, the Saudi Foreign Minister held a press conference in which he pledged $3.25 billion in development aid as part of the more than $4 billion assistance package from Western and Gulf states for Yemen. “Consolidating security and stability is a prerequisite to realize development and prosperity,” said Prince Saud. “This would enable the Yemeni Government of National Unity, supported by the world community and concerned bodies, to improve the conditions of the Yemeni people and to achieve development and revival, in accordance with needed projects and development programs.” Prince Saud confirmed that international support for Yemen will include cooperation with the Yemeni government by providing it with expertise and aid needed in economic, administrative, security and military fields.