Big day today. Nothing less than the future of Yemen- and, indeed, the world- is at stake, and it will all be decided in the matter of the next two days.
OK, that might be a touch of hyperbole. But this is an important conference, if it is done right, and focuses on more than al-Qaeda. I was worried that the high-level nature of the meeting would preclude the discussion of anything but the most immediate security threats, but I am somewhat cautiously optimistic about the draft statement
. It talks of needing to implement reforms, address economic conditions, and most importantly let the government do most of the work, with help (I am actually torn on this, and working through some thoughts on managed devolution, but working with the government is much better than sheer imposition). It also mentions that the GCC will be holding a conference next month. I guess I am a little skeptical about that, but it might just be instinct stemming from the relative indifference of the GCC heretofore. Hopefully they are a little more focused now.
There is also this charming section:
The launch of a 'Friends of Yemen' process, which will address the broad range of challenges facing Yemen. It will be supported by two working groups on economy and governance; and justice and law enforcement. These should meet in time to report back to the first Friends of Yemen meeting, which should take place in the region in late March.
I think both Greg and I consider ourselves to be friends of Yemen. So what's it going to take to get an invite?