Written By: Observer Staff
Article Date: Dec 9, 2012 - 8:11:52 PM
British Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt, at a press conference in Sana’a.
British Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt, said that the UK would hope it could be possible to extend the electoral timetable, scheduled for 2014.
Mr Burt said during his visit to Yemen that it’s better to stick to the timetable “if you can”. “Of course, circumstances can vary but I think we would be hoping to ensure that the electoral timetable is extended,” he said at a press conference held in Sana’a on December 4.
Burt said he visited four different factions of the Southern Movement and that while a large number of them were willing to participate in the National Dialogue, some are skeptical.
Signatories of the GCC deal, who engineered the political settlement to end tension between Yemeni rivals, have voiced concerns that the time left for the transitional process might not be enough to address its objectives. After UNSC was briefed on the Yemeni situation on December 4, AFP quoted Mark Grant, the UK envoy to the United Nations, as saying “there’s a genuine risk of the [Yemeni] government not being able to prepare in time for the election.”
Burt said “Certainly, we cannot believe that it’s a good thing to stick to the electoral timetable.” But he said that “it is always good to try to stick to timetables if you can. It always gives the people the best of momentum.”
Minister Burt met with President Hadi and restated the UK’s position of support and committment to the government and the importance of sourthern involvement in the conference. “It is imperative that the people of Yemen, especially in the South, seize this opportunity to join the Conference, and work within the new transitional structure to forge a consensual future for their country.The Yemeni government must in turn respond to the concerns of all its people. It needs to build and maintain relationships with all groups and parties, and provide desperately needed stability and prosperity. The international community continues to stand beside and support this process.”
A version of this article appeared in Yesterday's issue of Yemen Observer on December 8, 2012, on front page
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