U.S., Yemen commit to security measures

Aug. 2, 2013 at 2:03 PM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. and Yemeni presidents are committed to fighting the scourge of terrorism in the Near East republic, the White House said.

President Barack Obama met in Washington Thursday with visiting Yemeni President Abdo Rabu Manour Hadi to discuss the national security and unity of Yemen.

Hadi took power in 2012 after longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in the wake of the Middle East and North African upheavals known as the Arab Spring.

Yemen has since struggled to maintain a sense of national security because of the threat from al-Qaida and from southern secessionist movements.

"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," the White House said in a Thursday statement.

Hadi met this week with Secretary of State John Kerry, who welcomed the more than 500 delegations taking part in the political transformation under way in Yemen. Progress on establishing democracy, Kerry said, was "extraordinary."

The White House said it recognized the "extraordinary" sacrifices made by the Yemeni military in the fight against al-Qaida. The United States has provided military support for Yemen's counter-terrorism efforts in the form of missile-equipped drones.

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