By Fakhri al-Arashi
Mr. Hugues Mingarelli, Managing Director for the Middle East and Southern Neighborhood at the European External Action Service concluded his visit to Yemen. Prior to his departure he reaffirmed the EU’s support to Yemen at press conference by saying, “the EU has stood by Yemen over the past years – particularly over the past twelve months- to bring about a political solution to the crisis.”
Mr. Mingarelli noted that he saw many obstacles in the way of a successful election but the obstacles aren’t enough to step with moving forward with the election. By delaying the election because of a security problem for example, would encourage the spoilers as they would gain confidence from delaying the political process. So, Mingarelli continued, it should be the objective of all political partices and social movements to ensure that the election should take place on time.
“Since the signature of the GCC initiative at the end of November, we have witnessed good progress ,” Said Mingarelli. He stated that it is necessary to involve political parties, youth, Houthies and the Hirak Movement in a committee to keep the political process effective and successful.
The EU delegation will be leading this committee with the main purpose of making sure that any political process is inclusive. Mingarelli said that the EU hopes that the press in the coming weeks will increase its attention on Yemen throughout the upcoming elections.
The presidential election, Mingarelli noticed, is just one step towards the second phase of the political transformation of the country. The election will allow for national dialogue to continue and ultimately promote national reconciliation and the drafting of a new constitution. These objectives alone will contribute greatly to the general election in two years time. Moreover, these objectives will allow the government to focus on priority tasks such as reforming the security and rolling out an economic recovery package.
All these undertakings, however, will require major donor support. Mingarelli reaffirmed the EU’s support and said, “we are ready to support the reform of the enforcement agencies and ready to back an ambitious program to improve full safety in the country.”
The EU, Mingarelli stated, will take these issues while considering the wider implications to the regional disparities that exist throughout all Yemeni regions. He assured the EU would provide the same level of attention to each region and will continue to draw the attention of authorities to this issue.
During Mingarelli’s stay in Yemen, he met with the Vice-President of Yemen. During the meeting, they discussed the political and security situation and expressed the EU’s support in having the government push forward with the transitional process. They also both confirmed their desire to have the election on time. Additionally, they confirmed their desire to bring about an economic recovery for Yemen and why it should be a priority.