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Yemen's president headed to Washington

July 26, 2013 at 10:08 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, July 26 (UPI) -- Yemeni President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi is scheduled to visit Washington to discuss democratic developments, the White House announced.

Hadi in March opened a national dialogue with the aim of drafting a new constitution ahead of general elections in 2014. He took power after a political deal ended the tenure of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who survived an assassination attempt at the height of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011.

The White House announced Hadi would visit Aug. 1 with President Obama.

"The visit will highlight the strength of the U.S.-Yemeni relationship and underscore the United States' ongoing support for Yemen's political transition," a White House statement said Thursday. "The president looks forward to discussing with President Hadi U.S. efforts to enhance democratic governance and support economic development in Yemen."

Human rights groups say Yemen still has a long way to go before it can erase a long history of abuse and conflict.

Yemen's stability is jeopardized by al-Qaida threats and separatist ambitions. Hadi served as vice president under Saleh, whose legacy he's trying to erase.

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