From: Chatham House
International interest in Yemen reached unprecedented levels last month, with 24 countries attending Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s London meeting to discuss radicalisation and counter-terrorism in this strategic state. The Yemen Forum has been feeding into the current debate and providing analysis on the key challenges for the country in 2010 and beyond.
On Tuesday 26 January, the Yemen Forum launched to a packed auditorium at Chatham House. Yemen’s Foreign Minister, Dr Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, and British Ambassador to Sana’a, Tim Torlot, discussed the need for renewed commitment to political, social and economic reform.
The following day, the UK Government’s London meeting agreed on a comprehensive ‘whole of government’ approach that places counter-terrorism objectives within a broad, ambitious framework for change. The creation of an international contact group established a mechanism for sustained high-level engagement, with follow-up events scheduled for February and March. “Although the ‘Friends of Yemen’ have indicated their intended direction of travel, there are still substantial challenges ahead,” says Yemen Forum convenor Ginny Hill.