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Hague sees many challenges for Yemen

Feb. 9, 2011 at 1:40 PM

SANAA, Yemen, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague arrived Wednesday in Yemen to meet with government officials in the wake of a political upheaval, his office said.

Hague in a message posted on Twitter said his talks in Yemen focused on political reform and security issues with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

"(There are) huge challenges in both areas," he wrote.

Hague, his office said, is wrapping up a tour of Middle East countries shaken by the political unrest rippling across the Arab world. Hague met earlier with leaders in Jordan and Tunisia, which enacted political reforms following mass anti-government demonstrations.

Saleh announced last week he wasn't going to seek another term in office after his term expires in 2013.

"No to hereditary rule and no to life presidency," he said following the announcement of his decision.

Pro-Saleh demonstrators marched Thursday in support of the president while opposition parties gathered for rival protests in Sanaa.

Opposition leaders condemned the "monopoly of power" and called for more equal distribution of the nation's limited wealth. Pro-government groups praised the president for reaching out to his critics, however.

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