Türkiye Cumhuriyeti

Sana Büyükelçiliği

Konuşma Metinleri

Speech Delivered at the “Yemen and Turkey: Democratic Transition and Economic Experience” Workshop , 04.03.2013

H.E. Nabeel Shamsan, Minister of Civil Services,
Dear Professors,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased today to participate in this workshop which could be considered as unique as its type, where the distinguished Turkish and Yemeni academics, researchers, members of NGO’s and official institutions come together, here in the beautiful Sana’a, to make presentations concerning the Turkish Yemeni relations, Turkish economic experience and the Yemeni democratic transition process.

I would like to thank to the Democratic Awakening Movement (TAWQ) from Yemen and the Strategic Thinking Institute (SDE) from Turkey as they gave me the opportunity to address such a distinguished audience.

At the outset, I would like to begin with the cooperation between Turkey and Yemen, which has been gradually increasing during the past years.

Needless to say, Turkey and Yemen enjoy excellent relations with deep historical and cultural ties. Therefore we feel a special responsibility to cooperate in every field as our sisters and brothers have been passing through a unique and very sensitive period.

It is with this understanding that Turkey pledged 100 million Dollars for the development of Yemen in the Friends of Yemen Meeting held in New York on 27 September 2012.

All related institutions in Turkey are working in cooperation with their counterparts in Yemen to determine the allocation and modalities of the projects to be implemented in the framework of our pledge for the development of Yemen.
We focus on social development projects with an emphasis on capacity building and job creation in the areas of health, education, agriculture, water and irrigation, fisheries, local administration and municipal services. Our main priority in this regard is to build capacity in Yemen, by providing our know-how and experience to the use of our Yemeni brothers and sisters through training and educational programs.
That said, we do not intend to confine our activities to the said fields. We will, thus, actively explore other areas of cooperation where we can contribute to our common objective of promoting stability, security and development of Yemen.

Distinguished guests,

With a population of more than 73 million, dynamic and open-market economy and competitive industry, Turkey is a country with a huge and growing economy.
I hope that Turkish-Yemeni economic relations will reach its potential in the near future. Our trade volume in 2012 is indeed a new record in our economic relations. It was 487 million Dollars in 2012 which, not only doubled the figures in 2011, but exceeded the statistics before the crisis. Our target is to contribute to our economic relations by further increasing this volume to 1 billion Dollars in the near future.

Dear participants,

I am sure we all remember the times when reform was something rarely talked about in the region. But today everybody is talking about reform referring to it as an indispensable element of political, economic and social transformation that will yield a more democratic, stable and prosperous environment. Consequently, nowadays it's everywhere.

Yemen is also undergoing a process of transition towards real democracy. We sincerely hope to see that the process culminates into a just, lasting, accountable and representative system.

Democracy is always a work in progress. Indeed, change is rarely quick or simple. Therefore, we cannot and should not expect miracles overnight. Rather, we should be patient and yet resolute, continuing to work in a spirit of partnership. We should have a clear vision of reform for Yemen and exert every effort to realize it.

The road to democracy is not a short one, and I believe the people of Yemen remain determined to walk it through, no matter how steep.

Being a democratic partner of the region, sharing similar cultural and social values, and going through a comprehensive reform process on its own, Turkey feels a special responsibility and has an ability to assist the ongoing reform efforts in Yemen. We strongly support the reforms that aim to build a more peaceful and prosperous Yemen.

In this regard, we welcome the announcement of the start of the National Dialogue Conference on 18 March 2013. In this critical process, the National Dialogue Conference will serve as basis for the transition period if Yemeni people can reach a consensus in the new social contract of Yemen.

A social contract that will unite all segments of the society, empower the people, give them the long needed safeguards for freedom, dignity, justice, and ultimately, the hope for a prosperous future by reviving the economy through accountable and transparent governance.

Results of the National Dialogue Conference will be the benchmark on the way forward. The constitution will be drafted and a new electoral law will be adopted in accordance with the results of the Conference.

If the National Dialogue Conference takes place successfully then we can talk about the success of the transition period in Yemen.

Therefore, it is high time to prove that Yemeni people are perfectly capable of charting their future based on dialogue and compromise; and not through confrontation.

I personally believe that overwhelming majority of Yemeni people and political forces want this and have already proven to the world that they want “genuine change” and this change is and should be “peaceful” towards democratic governance respectful of universal values.

Although there is much to be done, it is obvious that President Hadi and members of the Yemeni Government achieved a lot in 2012 in terms of economic stability, political progress and security.
I would like to express my confidence that Yemen will complete the current transition period with great success.
Distinguished guests,

As I conclude my remarks, I would like to thank to all those who have tirelessly worked to organize this event, in particular to Dr. Ahmet Uysal and Dr. Abdulgani Al-Eryani.

I would also like to thank to Public Diplomacy Coordination Office of the Turkish Prime Ministry, Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities and Center for Strategic Research (SAM) for their support to the workshop.

My special thanks go to H. E. Mohammed Salem Basendwah, the Prime Minister of Yemen and H.E. Nabeel Shamsan, Minister of Civil Services as they are always strong supporter of Turkish-Yemeni relations and as they honored us today by their participation to the workshop.

I would like to welcome you all once again and wish the workshop will be very fruitful to achieve its targets.