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Italy lauds Yemen amid transition

  |   July 20, 2012 at 10:11 AM
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ROME, July 20 (UPI) -- The Yemeni government has navigated its way through regional upheavals with intelligence, the Italian foreign minister said during a meeting in Rome.

Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi met with his Yemeni counterpart Abu Bakr al-Qirbi to Rome to discuss the political transformations in Yemen.

"I reiterated Italy's pledge to support the political and institutional transition in Yemen, which is proceeding in a decidedly positive way," Terzi said in a statement. "Yemen has weathered the Arab spring with intelligence and handled a constitutional overhaul that has been important for the entire region."

The security situation in Yemen has deteriorated in large part due to fighting between pro-government forces, supported by the United States, and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the Yemeni branch of al-Qaida.

Yemeni President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi announced that he appointed a preparatory committee to lay the foundation for a national dialogue conference.

Terzi said a Friends of Yemen meeting, scheduled for September will give Rome another opportunity to "add our support to this process ahead of the 2014 elections."

A U.N. Security Council resolution passed in June calls on Yemen to convene a national dialogue, restructure the military under a unified command and implement political reform with the aim of general elections in 2014.

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