Source: White House press release, 02/08/2013
Joint Statement by the United States and Yemen
In their meeting today at the White House, President Barack Obama and President Abdo Rabu Mansour Hadi of Yemen affirmed their desire to broaden and strengthen the U.S.-Yemen relationship. President Obama reiterated the United States’ support for the stability, security, prosperity, and unity of Yemen. He also commended the Yemeni government and people for their commitment to an inclusive democratic transition and the progress they have made thus far. President Hadi thanked President Obama for the United States’ steadfast support to Yemen during this critical moment in its history. He also commended the President’s efforts to advance peace, security, and opportunity in the Middle East. The two Presidents pledged to continue working together to help the Yemeni people realize their aspirations for strengthened governance, security, and the rule of law; protection of universal human rights; and enhanced economic opportunity. Presidents Obama and Hadi reaffirmed their commitment to a strong and enduring counterterrorism and security partnership and agreed to cooperate closely to enable the return of Yemeni detainees at Guantanamo Bay who have been designated for transfer.
Presidents Obama and Hadi discussed Yemen’s efforts to implement the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Initiative and the strong support of the international community for its timely completion. President Hadi recounted Yemen’s progress restructuring the military and undertaking a comprehensive National Dialogue, and affirmed that preparations for a new voter registry, constitutional referendum, and national elections were progressing. President Obama commended the inclusive and representative nature of Yemen’s ongoing National Dialogue and the efforts underway to develop a shared vision for the country’s future. He praised the vital role that women, youth, and civil society are playing in Yemen’s political transition, providing a powerful example to the region.
Economic and Social Development
President Hadi highlighted the importance of social development and economic reform for Yemen’s political transition, as well as the country’s overall stability, security, and prosperity. The two Presidents agreed to continue working together to expand economic opportunities and foster private sector development in Yemen. President Hadi noted his productive discussions with the International Monetary Fund and World Bank regarding how to advance Yemen’s economic reform agenda while protecting Yemen’s most vulnerable, and President Obama expressed U.S. support for these reform efforts. The Presidents urged donors to continue supporting Yemen as it addresses a serious humanitarian crisis and begins fulfilling its commitments to responsible governance and reform. President Hadi thanked President Obama for unprecedented levels of U.S. humanitarian and development assistance.
Security and Counterterrorism
Presidents Obama and Hadi reaffirmed their commitment to a strong counterterrorism partnership, discussing a range of efforts to counter the threat to both countries posed by al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). They recognized the extraordinary sacrifices of Yemeni military and security personnel killed in the fight against terrorism. They affirmed the importance of combating terrorism within the framework of the rule of law and of supporting Yemen’s efforts to build capable, effective, and professional security forces.
Guantanamo Bay Detainees
President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. He noted his decision to lift the moratorium on detainee transfers to Yemen, and the two Presidents agreed their governments would work together to facilitate the repatriation of Yemeni detainees who have been designated for transfer. President Hadi affirmed his intention to establish an extremist rehabilitation program to address the problem of violent extremism within Yemen, which could also facilitate the transfer of Yemeni detainees held at Guantanamo. Presidents Obama and Hadi agreed to remain in close consultation on this critical matter.