National talks in Yemen agree on future roadmap

Updated: 2013-12-24 16:24


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SANAA -- Delegates of the Yemeni national dialogue agreed late on Monday on a roadmap to resolve the southern issue and form a federal state, officials said Tuesday.

The roadmap, which is called the Outcome Document, was signed at the presidential office with the attendance of President Abd- Rabbu Mansour Hadi and United Nations envoy to Yemen, Jamal bin Omar, as well as representatives of the separatist Southern Movement.

The terms were compiled and proposed by bin Omar, who suggests a federal state that will be made up of either two or six autonomy regions, according to sources at bin Omar's office.

The deal also authorizes Hadi to chair a presidential committee to determine the number of the federal state's regions in case of any dispute over the issue in the final pact before the dialogue ends, which is scheduled to be concluded by the end of this month.

However, Nadia Abdullah of the southern issue sub-committee at the national dialogue said some delegates of the Socialist Party refused to sign the roadmap deal.

Meanwhile, bin Omar's office issued a statement, saying that he "welcomes the agreement on the Outcome Document on the Southern Question reached by the sub-committee of the Southern Working Group of the National Dialogue Conference."

"The agreement signed tonight (Monday) in Sanaa provides for a just solution to the Southern Question," he said.

In the statement, bin Omar commends Hadi for "his efforts to foster consensus" between the Yemeni political parties.

"The Outcome Document reflects the highest degree of consensus among the political constituencies participating in the National Dialogue. It paves the way for establishing a unified state, on the basis of federalism and democracy," bin Omar said in the statement obtained by Xinhua.

The deal also suggests an extension period ranging from nine months to two years for implementing the outcomes of the agreed documents of the national dialogue during two phases.

The outcomes of the talks include writing a new constitution, probing federal laws, electoral laws reform, and holding a referendum and general elections.

Yemeni factions started the comprehensive reconciliation dialogue in March as part of the power transition launched after the 2011 mass protests that led to the resignation of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. It was designed to run six months but its conclusion was delayed after southern separatist leaders insisted on full independence for their region.

The southerners had been complaining of being economically and politically marginalized and discriminated against by the former regime since northern troops won a four-month civil war in 1994.