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Friends Of Yemen

General view of delegates in the Long Gallery of Lancaster House during the Friends of Yemen ministerial meeting in central London, Thursday March 7, 2013.

U.S. has doubled foreign assistance to Yemen over the past year to $356 million.

Over the past 15 months, Yemen, with international support, has made progress in implementing the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative. Yemenis elected a new leader for the first time in three decades, launched a major reform of their armed forces, regained control of large areas of their national territory held by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and have now begun an historic National Dialogue.

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U.S. Deputy Secretary of State William Burns urged all Yemenis to seize this opportunity to resolve their differences in a nonviolent way.

Political renewal alone will not be enough for Yemen to succeed. It must be coupled with concrete steps on economic reform and development. The United States strongly backs Yemen's accession to the World Trade Organization and participation in the G-8 Deauville Partnership with Arab Countries in Transition. Together these initiatives will integrate Yemen into regional and global markets, improve the business climate, accelerate economic activity, and secure a more prosperous and hopeful future for all Yemenis.

To succeed, the U.S. along with its partners, must support these efforts. For its part, the United States has doubled its foreign assistance to Yemen over the past year to $356 million, with over $10 million allocated specifically to support the National Dialogue. Over the next year, the Yemeni government’s Mutual Accountability Framework secretariat will ensure that international assistance achieves results that improve the lives of all Yemenis.

The transition, said Deputy Secretary Burns, is about to enter a new, critical phase. While Yemenis courageously work to rebuild their country, some extremists are working hard to tear it down. The British and Saudi Co-Chairs of the Friends of Yemen called on all parties to commit to the principle of non-interference and the unity, sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Yemen. The United States endorses this effort in the strongest terms.

As the Yemeni leadership and its people continue to take courageous step after courageous step, the United States will be proud to stand by your side, a friend of Yemen, and a partner for peace.