By Fakhri al-Arashi
The Technical Preparatory Committee for the National Dialogue held its second press conference on Saturday, November 17 at the presidential palace. In its report, committee members admitted to the challenges facing them. More than 40 meeting have been held and most decrees have been fulfilled, leaving little to be discussed at this week’s meetings.
It had previously been announced to the public that November 15th would be the first day for the start of the National Dialogue, which is expected to include representatives from political groups and factions including the JMP, GPC, Houthis, the Southern Movement, and revolutionary youths. At the latest meeting, it was stated that the National Dialogue would not commence until President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi had issued a decree specifying an actual start date.
The preparatory committee stated that 50 working days had been wasted between public holidays; the committee confirmed that it had missed the deadline to achieve its goals. Other than that, extensive efforts and a string of meetings with Southern Movement and Houthi representatives served to further delay comprehensive acceptance of a set of principles for the National Dialogue.
The committee confirmed that it would continue to make preparations for the conference and that the discussion concerning the total number of conference members had been completed.
The committee reiterated its belief that the National Dialogue would represent the best tool for launching a ‘New Yemen’ and also that military restructuring is a must and it should be completed before the start of the national dialogue.
“Time is an essential aspect of the National Dialogue, and the quality of the meetings and outcomes are important too,” said Dr. Al-Eryani. “We are not authorized to nominate more members to the committee and we have limited authority in our work; our role is to negotiate, but not to force others to participate.”