Meeting Summary

Chatham House

This is a summary of an event held in Sana'a on 6 April 2010 which examined the West's stated commitment to support development in Yemen, questions of security and migration and the potential role of wider regional powers.

Key points:

  • 2010 is a crucial year for Yemen in terms of implementing reforms. Elections are planned to take place in April 2011, and for this to happen voter registration must begin in September 2010. However, both within Yemen and among the international community there is a lack of consensus over the relative urgency and importance of economic versus political reforms.
  • The comprehensive approach adopted by the Friends of Yemen group has the capacity to assist the country's stability and development, and it is important that a balance is struck between addressing security and developmental concerns. More time must be spent by the Friends of Yemen on substance rather than process and the expectations of Yemen and the West need to be aligned with each other.
  • There is a growing need to view Yemen as part of a wider region, including both the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the Horn of Africa.
  • The international community lacks in-depth understanding of Somalia's internal politics, which is crucial to understanding regional dynamics.

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Yemen Forum >>