Yemen's democratic journey 'extraordinary'

July 30, 2013 at 11:25 AM

WASHINGTON, July 30 (UPI) -- Yemen has gone through an extraordinary journey as it charts its course toward democratic governance, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said.

Kerry met in Washington with Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi to discuss Yemen's effort to embrace political reforms.

Hadi said during a joint press conference his country was working to chart a new course two years after the so-called Arab Spring brought political upheaval to the Middle East and North Africa.

He said all facets of political society were working on the reform agenda.

"They're discussing the new Yemen, the good governance, the justice, the equality, democracy [and] hopefully leading Yemen into a better future," he said Monday.

Hadi took office after a political deal ended the tenure of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who survived an assassination attempt at the height of the Arab uprisings in 2011.

Kerry said there are more than 500 delegates taking part in the political transformation.

"Yemen has been going through an extraordinary transformation, moving towards democracy, and is working in comprehensive ways with the United States and others to transform its economy," he said.

Yemen is rich in natural resources and is strategically positioned near important African shipping lanes.

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

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