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Yemen lauded for political transition efforts

  |   Jan. 23, 2014 at 11:07 AM
SANAA, Yemen, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- The Yemeni government said Thursday it was congratulated by members of the U.N. Security Council for initiatives taken on political transition.

The official Saba News Agency reported ambassadors from the five permanent members of the Security Council, representatives from the European Union and envoys from the regional Gulf Cooperation Council extended congratulations to Yemen on the conclusion Tuesday of a national dialogue conference.

"The ambassadors hailed the personal leadership of President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi to conclude the first step in the ... political transition," Saba reported.

The official dialogue was launched in March. Hadi brought women, youth leaders and members of civil society into the process aimed at drafting a new constitution and setting the terms for general elections later this year.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the conference was a "major step forward" for Yemen given its long history of internal conflict, terrorist threats and a Houthi rebellion in the north.

Ban said in a statement Wednesday the assassination of Houthi delegate to the conference, Ahmad Sharafeddin, was a "stark reminder" of Yemen's lingering challenges.

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