Statement by the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation on the situation in the Republic of Yemen

Mr Ebrahim Ismail Ebrahim, the Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, met with Amb Ali Al-Ghaffari, the Head of Mission of Yemen in Pretoria, on 2 February 2010. During the meeting, Amb Al-Ghaffari briefed the Deputy Minister on the recent political and security developments in his country, as well as on the outcomes of the conference on Yemen held in London on 27 January 2010.

In responding to the briefing, Deputy Minister Ebrahim emphasised the South African Government’s principled position that conflict should be resolved through a process of dialogue. In this regard, he was encouraged to learn about a proposed National Dialogue in Yemen, which is expected to be chaired by the Chairperson of Yemen’s Consultative Council in the near future. He indicated that the South African Government supports the unity and stability of Yemen, on the basis of equality, freedom and development of all its people. Deputy Minister expressed a view that a deterioration of the current situation would have wider ramifications, particularly for the countries on the Arabian Peninsula and the Horn of Africa.

Deputy Minister Ebrahim concluded by indicating that the Government of South Africa was looking forward to welcome the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Yemen, Dr Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi, in South Africa in the near future. Minister Al-Qirbi has accepted an invitation from Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, to visit South Africa. The visit will present an opportunity for further high-level engagement on developments in Yemen and the region, while it is hoped that a number of bilateral agreements would also be signed during the same time.

For more information contact the Chief Director for Public Diplomacy, Mr. Saul Kgomotso Molobi on 082 940 1647.

Department of International Relations and Cooperation

2 February 2010

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