News / Middle East

Obama, Yemen Leader Discuss Counterterrorism, Reconciliation

President Barack Obama and Yemen's President, Abdo Rabby Mansour Hadi talk to the media as they meet at the White House, August 1, 2013, in Washington.
President Barack Obama and Yemen's President, Abdo Rabby Mansour Hadi talk to the media as they meet at the White House, August 1, 2013, in Washington.
U.S. President Barack Obama and Yemen's president, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, held talks at the White House Thursday on the political reconciliation process in Yemen, counterterrorism cooperation and economic assistance.

Hadi's visit to Washington came at a pivotal time as Yemen continues difficult national negotiations for political, economic and other reforms.

Obama, Hadi Discuss Yemen Counterterrorism, Yemen Reconciliation Stepsi
X
August 02, 2013 5:28 PM
In White House talks, U.S. President Barack Obama and Yemen's president, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, discussed political reconciliation in Yemen, along with counterterrorism cooperation and economic assistance. VOA senior White House correspondent Dan Robinson reports.]]

Since 2012, after former president Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down following mass demonstrations, Hadi has overseen a National Dialogue involving more than 500 delegates from across Yemeni society.

Obama has said the process could serve as a model for peaceful transitions and after their talks, on Thursday he praised progress achieved so far.

"Because of his leadership, he has been able to initiate a national dialogue that can potentially bring the parties all together in Yemen, and produce a constitution and a transition to a fully democratic government that can serve the interests of the people," said Obama.

Hadi said, "In this national dialogue actually we proved that 75 percent of the population of Yemen are young -- that is less than 45 years of age. They're seeking the change, a dignified lifestyle, democracy, that is justice [and] equality in the country."

Security and counterterrorism cooperation were high on the agenda. The United States continues to help Yemen combat al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, considered the most active and lethal group plotting against America and its interests.

Obama praised Yemen's cooperation and internal military reforms, saying these helped push AQAP out of territories it controlled.

"President Hadi recognizes that these threats are not only transnational in nature, but also cause severe hardship and prevent the kind of prosperity for the people of Yemen themselves," he said.

Obama has defended U.S. drone strikes against suspected terrorists in Yemen and elsewhere. Reports Thursday said the latest strike in Yemen killed at least three suspected militants.

Although not mentioned in their public remarks, the two leaders were expected to discuss President Obama's pledge to repatriate dozens of Yemenis from the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Transfers have been blocked so far by ongoing concerns in the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress about security in Yemen.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said there would be no announcements about whether, when or under what circumstances Yemeni detainees would be repatriated.

"The lifting of the moratorium did not mean a mass exodus, it meant that we would then move to a case by case evaluation of each detainee, which has been the case [with] the non-Yemeni detainees," he said.

In a VOA interview, former U.S. ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine says the detainee question is among a series of issues as both countries seek to deepen their relationship.

"That [Yemeni Guantanamo detainees] is a critical issue to the Yemenis," she said. "His agreement to work on closing Guantanamo, to publicly support the transition government, to provide economic assistance, all of this is a signal from the Obama administration that we are moving beyond counter-terrorism to a more balanced relationship."

Bodine also said events in Syria and Egypt have focused the attention of Yemenis on the need to get their political transition process right.

Obama said the U.S. and international community remain committed to helping Yemen continue economic reforms that can help create jobs and stimulate growth as its transition continues.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid