The President of Yemen is in Russia on an official visit.
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President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, colleagues, it is my great pleasure to welcome you to Moscow.
Russia and Yemen share a long-standing friendship and we are very happy to welcome you to Moscow. We are happy both because you are the head of a state with which, as I said, we share many years of friendly relations, and because you have personal ties with our country after the years you spent in Russia. You graduated from the Frunze Military Academy of the General Staff. I hope that you have many warm memories of the time you spent there.
The economic relations between our two countries are developing successfully. Unfortunately, the total volume is not very high but last year we posted a high growth rate: a 43% increase in trade. There are other areas that have always been of mutual interest, in particular defence cooperation.
Yemen’s development path has been difficult and we hope, Mr President, that you will be able to restore peace and order, and create the conditions for sustainable growth.
Russia will do everything in its power to help and support you, to create the conditions for the reconstruction and development of your country, to raise living standards and create good living conditions for your friendly nation.
We are happy to see you, Mr President. Welcome!
President of Yemen Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi (re-translated): Your Excellency, I am very happy to be here today.
I come from a country that has enjoyed a traditional friendly relationship with your country since the days of the Soviet Union. This year we will celebrate the 85th anniversary of our bilateral relations.
You are right, our country is going through difficult times. Yemen has experienced such troublesome periods many times in its history. As you know, it was once composed of two parts: the North and the South Yemen. That was in the 1990s. This is an additional factor in the deep transformation taking place in our region since 2011. However, I wish to emphasise that in our country, these transformations are peaceful.
There were some dangerous incidents at the beginning of the 2011 events but we managed to avoid a civil war. Later this gave rise to the Persian Gulf Initiative, which resulted in a peaceful change of power in our country.
I reiterate, we achieved all this through great effort, as over a six-month period there was a real threat of a split in the army and in security agencies. But together we managed to overcome it, and Russia has played an important role. A peaceful solution became possible, and I want to emphasise this as well because at that time there was a stalemate situation in our country: neither side could get the upper hand. Eventually the voice of reason prevailed. We were able to form a coalition government and later held elections for which consensus candidates were nominated.
Another important event has just happened in Yemen: we successfully launched a national dialogue with the participation of all major political forces. This dialogue will be held for six months. It became possible thanks to the Yemeni people’s choice in favour of the national dialogue, and not civil war.
This is very important. It is necessary to bear in mind the structure and historical development of our society, which remains largely tribal. People still possess a lot of weapons, and if, God forbid, a civil war breaks out, its negative impact will be felt in the entire region.
I have paid special attention to security in the capital since the first days of my Presidency.