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The governments of the UK, Saudi Arabia and Yemen will co-chair the next Friends of Yemen meeting in London on 29 April 2014. The Friends of Yemen was established in 2010 to co-ordinate international support for Yemen and comprises 39 countries and organisations.
With the conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) earlier this year, Yemen has entered a new stage in its transition towards a constitutional referendum and elections. This meeting is expected to endorse the Yemeni proposal for a restructured Friends of Yemen group which can provide more targeted support in Yemen.
The meeting will be opened by the Foreign Secretary William Hague and then be jointly chaired by Minister for the Middle East Hugh Robertson, International Development Minister Alan Duncan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Deputy Minister for Multinational Regional Affairs Prince Ambassador Turki bin Mohammed bin Saud Al Kabeer and Yemeni Foreign Minister Dr al-Qirbi. Presentations will also be made by the Gulf Cooperation Council, the UN and the Yemeni Executive Bureau, which matches donor pledges with projects.
As well as the group’s restructuring, the priorities for the meeting include assessing progress on the political, economic and security objectives set at the last Friends of Yemen meeting in New York in 2013 and to ensure donors work closely with the Executive Bureau so the money pledged to help support Yemen’s future is spent effectively.