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Yemen: National Dialogue Conference to conclude “within days” - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Abdul Aziz Abul, a representative of the Shura Council, adjusts his pass as he arrives at the National Dialogue session in Manama on June 12, 2013. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)

Abdul Aziz Abul, a representative of the Shura Council, adjusts his pass as he arrives at the National Dialogue session in Manama on June 12, 2013. (Reuters/Hamad I Mohammed)

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference will conclude “within days,” according to its vice-president, Sultan Al-Atwani.

In exclusive comments to Asharq Al-Awsat, Atwani, who also heads Yemen’s Nasserite Party, affirmed that the national dialogue has overcome all the political obstacles in its path, adding that the dialogue will conclude after an important agreement on Southern Issue has been signed.

Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference had been scheduled to conclude on September 18, 2013, but was prolonged in order to resolve ongoing differences among representatives.

Atwani told Asharq Al-Awsat: “All National Dialogue Conference working groups have concluded their work apart from the Southern Issue Working Group, which will submit its report to the conference’s general session on Saturday. This will be put to a general vote in preparation for drafting and finalizing the National Dialogue Conference’s final document and guarantees.”

“The National Dialogue Conference has succeeded in overcoming political obstacles, and what it has achieved over the past two days has opened the door to the completion of its tasks,” he added in reference to an agreement signed earlier this week on the Southern Issue.

Atwani affirmed that under the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative, the process of drafting a new constitution will begin in a special constitutional committee once the dialogue concludes. According to the GCC Initiative, the constitution must be drafted within six months and then put to a public referendum.

In related news, Yemen’s parliament on Thursday welcomed the signing of the “Just Solution” document for the Southern Issue, affirming that this will contribute to preserving Yemeni security, stability and unity.

Meanwhile, the G10 ambassadors of the UN Security Council’s five permanent members, the EU and the GCC to Yemen also welcomed the signing of the document, adding that the group condemns any attempt to undermine the transitional process in the country.

“The Group of Ten Ambassadors welcomes the signature by all parties in the National Dialogue Conference of a document on Solutions and Guarantees relating to the Southern Issue and the clarifications of its significance enshrined in the statement by the Presidency of the National Dialogue Conference issued on 7 January,” said a statement issued by the G10.