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Press release: UK, Saudi Arabia and Yemen to co-chair meeting in support of Yemen’s transition

The governments of the United Kingdom, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Yemen will co-chair the next Friends of Yemen meeting in New York today. The Friends of Yemen Ministerial group was established in 2010 to co-ordinate international support for Yemen and comprises 39 countries and organisations.

Given the intense fighting in Sana’a in recent days this meeting is more important than ever. It will provide an opportunity for the international community to respond to current events, and to call for an end to violence and the full implementation of the peace agreement.

As part of the road to improved stability and security, Yemen has committed to implementing National Dialogue Conference recommendations including drafting a new constitution, preparing for a constitutional referendum, and elections in 2015. This will be the first meeting since the Friends group was restructured during the London meeting in April to provide more targeted support to the multiple challenges Yemen faces. The Friends of Yemen Steering Committee will report on progress made by the Political, Economic and Security Working Groups, the Constitutional Drafting Committee and the National Authority for Monitoring the Implementation of the National Dialogue Outcomes, and on election preparations. The group will also discuss how pledges made at previous meetings are being delivered in Yemen. Presentations will also be made by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and UN representatives on the progress of the GCC Initiative and its Implementation Plan, and the current political and humanitarian situation in Yemen.

The meeting will be opened by the Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, who will co-chair with his Saudi and Yemeni counterparts, Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia and Jamal Abdullah Al-Sallal of Yemen. FCO Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood, and the UK Government Special Envoy to Yemen, Sir Alan Duncan, will also be part of the UK delegation.

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