Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Yemen's President Addresses American Audience

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Yemen's President Addresses American Audience

Article excerpt

In a Sept. 28 address at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC, Yemeni President Rabbo Mansur al-Hadi spoke warmly of his country's military relationship with the United States.

Noting the devastating impact terrorism has had on the stability of his country, Hadi called terrorism a "common threat regionally and internationally [that] requires and necessitates a common effort to fight."

President Hadi went on to offer what appeared to be an endorsement of American drone activity in Yemen. "Our air force...cannot carry out missions at night," he said, noting that his country's air force is composed of outdated 1970s Soviet fighter jets. Drones, he said, "pinpoint the target and have zero margin of error if you know exactly what target you are aiming at." Hadi also lauded the U.S. for playing "the decisive role in extricating al-Qaeda from the [southern] provinces of Shabwah and Abyan."

Looking ahead, Hadi said that the U.S. can best assist Yemen-which is beset by economic, humanitarian, political and security crises-by providing economic aid. The president explained that "75 percent of the solution in Yemen is an economic solution."

Hadi also praised Saudi Arabia in his remarks, thanking the Kingdom for its economic assistance and the role it played in bringing about the GCC-brokered Yemeni transfer agreement in November of last year. …

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