WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama telephoned Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi on Monday to congratulate him on the conclusion of the National Dialogue Conference.
Obama applauded the National Dialogue, which concluded Saturday, as "a major milestone in Yemen's political transition." The presidents agreed that more work remains to be done to "turn the National Dialogue's vision for a more just and democratic future into reality," including following through with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative's transition road map.
Obama also assured Hadi of the U.S. government's support for Yemen's economic strengthening endeavors and reiterated America's "commitment to a strong security partnership" with Yemen that will increase the Yemen's security services' capacity to combat al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.
The talks, brokered by the UN and GCC, began in March 2013 and brought together rival political, tribal, religious, and social groups to create a new political system in conflict-ridden Yemen.
Yemen has been in political transition since former President Ali Abdullah Saleh resigned in November 2011 following an Arab Spring pro-democracy movement in the country. A Government of National Unity was elected in February 2012, with Hadi elected to a two-year presidential term.
Yemen has been plagued by violence for years. A cease-fire agreement among warring factions was reached in early November. However, violence persists. Two National Dialogue Conference envoys from the rebel Houthi movement were killed during the talks.