Yemen Policy Initiative

  • Overcoming the Pitfalls of Yemen's National Dialogue

    Among the urban elite and diplomatic community in Sanaa, all eyes will turn to the launch of the long-awaited National Dialogue Conference today, a key component of the transition plan agreed upon in November 2011 that ushered out former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in exchange for full immunity. The good news about the internationally-backed agreement is that Saleh was finally forced from the presidency after more than 30 years of autocratic rule and the fighting stopped. The bad news is that it did not address any of the underlying issues that have plagued Yemen since before the uprising and have only been exacerbated in the time since. The National Dialogue, thus, is positioned to tackle the thorniest issues including calls for Southern independence, the restive Houthi movement in the north, the question of federalism and decentralization, constitutional reform, empowering women and youth, and other issues.
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  • Looking Forward in Yemen: Challenges, Opportunities, and the International Community's Role

    In order to examine the challenges and opportunities with Yemen’s much awaited National Dialogue, the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED) sponsored an event on October 25 featuring commentary by Atiaf Alwazir, a prominent youth activist in Yemen; Ibrahim Mothana, a co-founder of the new Watan Party; and Laura Kasinof, a journalist who covered Yemen’s uprising for the New York Times.
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  • Yemen's Transition Hangs in the Balance

    More than half of Yemen’s 25 million people are on the verge of starvation, according to aid agencies that have been sounding the alarm over the past several months regarding Yemen’s growing food crisis. Next week, at a donors’ conference on September 4 and 5 in Riyadh, attention will turn to the dire economic and humanitarian challenges facing the Yemeni population and what the international community can do amid an unstable political and security environment.


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  • Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis: Impact on the Political Transition

    On Wednesday, August 29, the Atlantic Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, the Project on Middle East Democracy, and Mercy Corps hosted a panel discussion on Yemen's humanitarian crisis and its impact on the political transition.
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  • Leading Experts Call for Recalibration of US Policy on Yemen in Letter to President Obama

    WASHINGTON -- Twenty-seven leading foreign policy experts have sent a letter to President Obama, calling for a broader approach on US policy towards Yemen that “expands beyond the narrow lens of counterterrorism.” As US intelligence agencies point to the rise of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) activity making Yemen the next front in counterterrorism, the letter, signed by diplomats, security specialists, scholars, and US policy experts, argues that current US policy is short-sighted. It strongly urges for better policy that still serves America’s national interests by decreasing extremism and combating security threats in the region, but through a comprehensive, long-term approach that addresses Yemen’s social, economic, and political challenges.
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  • Danya Greenfield and Other Experts Write Open Letter to President Obama on Yemen

    Twenty-seven leading foreign policy experts, including Danya Greenfield, deputy director of the Council's Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East, sent a letter to President Obama, calling for a broader approach on US policy towards Yemen that “expands beyond the narrow lens of counterterrorism.”
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  • Roundtable Discussion with Mr. Munir Daair: Yemen in Transition

    The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and the Public International Law & Policy Group (PILPG), hosted prominent Yemeni businessman and founding member of the Democratic Awakening Movement (TAWQ) Mr. Munir Daair for a discussion on May 14 on Yemen’s challenges as it moves forward in its transition process.

    Download a PDF of the discussion summary

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  • Yemen Policy Initiative Roundtable Discussion

    Recognizing a dearth of policy-oriented dialogue on Yemen in Washington, the Hariri Center for the Middle East and the Project on Middle East Democracy are launching a Yemen policy initiative to provide a platform for dialogue and opportunities for advocacy to advance a more coherent and comprehensive US policy toward Yemen.
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