Just over one year ago, thousands of men and women gathered in city squares across Yemen to demand a government that was responsive to their democratic aspirations. The determination and sacrifice of the Yemeni people in the struggle for their universal rights has been inspiring and has brought about unprecedented political change in Yemen. This week, millions of Yemenis voted for a new president and the beginning of a promising new chapter in Yemen's history.
Today, I called Yemeni President Abdo Rabo Mansour Hadi to congratulate him and the Yemeni people as they mark this historic and peaceful transfer of power that honors all the brave Yemenis who have set their country on a path for a more stable, secure, and democratic future. I told President Hadi that the United States will stand with the people of Yemen as they continue their efforts to forge a brighter future for their country. I also offered my condolences for the lives lost at the presidential compound in Mukalla, Hadramawt.
The Yemeni people have achieved a new beginning for their country, but much work lies ahead. Going forward, as part of their political agreement, Yemenis must convene an inclusive National Dialogue, reform their constitution, reorganize the military and security services, and hold presidential and parliamentary elections by 2014. This is an ambitious agenda, but with the determination they have shown over the past year, Yemenis have proven they are up to the task. Under President Hadi's leadership, Yemen has the potential to serve as a model for how peaceful transitions can occur when people resist violence and unite under a common cause. The United States will remain a steadfast partner to Yemen and its people as they transition to a democracy worthy of their struggle.