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Britain welcomes Yemeni dialogue

Jan. 29, 2013 at 9:29 AM

LONDON, Jan. 29 (UPI) -- Yemen is called on the take advantage of an opportunity for peaceful political transition during the national dialogue session, the British government said.

Members from the U.N. Security Council visited Yemen this week to express support for a political transition led by President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The visit comes as Hadi announced the commencement of a national dialogue.

Yemen has struggled with national security in the face of a threat from al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

A national dialogue conference is expected to culminate in preparations for a draft constitution. General elections should take place in 2014.

Alistair Burt, British minister for the Middle East and North Africa, said the developments were significant steps for Yemen's evolution.

"It is only through entering a genuine and serious dialogue that Yemenis can begin to address old grievances, resolve underlying causes of conflict and make preparations for a new constitution," he said in a statement. "Yemenis must take advantage of this once-in-a-generation chance to create the foundations of a more prosperous, representative and secure Yemen."

London is hosting a Friends of Yemen meeting March 7 alongside the government of Saudi Arabia.

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