Yemen moving away from the ‘abyss’, many challenges still remain
LONDON (dpa) – Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi on Thursday outlined the problems facing the Arab world’s poorest country at an international meeting in London.
“Perhaps Yemen is moving away from the abyss but it is still facing many major challenges politically, economically and socially,” Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi told the Friends of Yemen group.
The group of 35 countries and international organisations was founded in 2010 to offer the country support in its fight against Islamist extremism and help develop its economy.
Its fifth round of talks was aimed at pushing for the spending of the around five billion pounds the group has raised in pledges.
Yemen, which is planning to hold elections in February 2014, is scheduled to hold a national dialogue in an effort to reconcile competing political factions, on March 18.
The conference is a key step in the country’s transition process, which started with last year’s handover of power to President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi from long-time president Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Hadi has faced continued unrest, particularly in the south where rebels are calling for independence for the former Marxist republic of South Yemen.