Yesterday, Secretary Clinton delivered remarks with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Abdullah al-Qirbi in London. Secretary Clinton said:
"I just want to take this opportunity to outline three important things -- why we met, what we've achieved, and what the next steps are, because it's very important that these meetings lead not just to concrete outcomes, but to mechanisms for implementation as well. As you well know, the -- our prime minister, the UK prime minister, called this meeting shortly after the failed terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines flight 253. We know that al-Qaida seek to exploit instability wherever they can, including places like Yemen. The Government of Yemen have been seeking to tackle the terrorist problem they've faced for some time, and the international community has been working to support them in this endeavor.
"However, it's been a common feature of every contribution that we have heard today that the assault on Yemen's problems cannot begin and end with its security challenges and its counterterrorism strategy. In tackling terrorism, it is vital to tackle the root -- its root causes. In Yemen's case, these are manifold -- economic, social, and political. I also want to stress that many of the countries represented in the room upstairs today have not -- have been concerned about the challenges in Yemen for some time, have been longstanding friends of the people and Government of Yemen, and have been taking concrete steps to support a united and stable Yemen."
Secretary Clinton continued, "[W]e stress strongly our respect and support for Yemen's sovereignty and independence and our commitment to noninterference in Yemen's internal affairs. Many of you will know that in 2006, we hosted in London a meeting committed to increasing aid for Yemen. The UK is one of the largest Western bilateral donors to Yemen. That conference yielded pledges of some $5 billion, but the vast bulk of that money has not been spent and that's one of the things that we have been seeking to address today, because it goes to the heart of the problems that Yemen faces.
"Working closely with the Government of Yemen, we decided that our agenda needed to cover agreement on the nature of the problem and then address the solutions across the economic, social, and political terrain. Five key items were agreed at the meeting for the way in which the international community can support progress in Yemen.
"First, confirmation by the Government of Yemen that it will continue to pursue its reform agenda and agreement to start discussion of an IMF program. The director of the IMF represented at the meeting made a compelling case for the way in which economic reform could be supported by the IMF. This is important because it will provide welcome support and help the Government of Yemen confront its immediate challenges.
"Second, an announcement by the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General that he will host a meeting of Gulf and Western donors on Yemen in Riyadh on the 22nd and 23rd of February. The meeting will not just share analysis on the improved disbursement of aid to Yemen, but also establish a joint dialogue with the Government of Yemen on its reform priorities.
"Thirdly, the international community represented at the meeting committed to support the Government of Yemen in the fight against al-Qaida. It welcomed the recent UN Sanctions Committee decisions on designation and called on all states to enforce the terms of the designation under UN Security Council Resolution 1267.
"Fourthly, the meeting agreed to engage in further helping Yemen to address its broader security challenges, including through increased international support for the Yemen Coast Guard. This should help enhance maritime security for Yemen and the wider region.
"Fifthly, we agreed to launch a formal Friends of Yemen process made up of those at the meeting today which will address the broad range of challenges facing Yemen, including through two working groups on economy and governance and justice and law enforcement. These should meet in time to report back to the first Friends of Yemen meeting which should take place in the region in late March. So these are issues that will take sustained engagement by Yemen and by the international community. The meeting today was a part of a longer-term process. It was an important step forward and it's one that we are determined to build on."
Read the full remarks here.
Related Content:Daniel Benjamin, Coordinator for Counterterrorism, provides context on the current relationship with Yemen and ongoing efforts to work with Yemen on security.