Yemen bids farewell to U.S. envoy Gerald Feierstein

Sept. 16, 2013 at 9:47 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, Sept. 16 (UPI) -- Yemen wants to "push forward" its ties with the United States, the Yemeni foreign minister told departing U.S. envoy Gerald Feierstein Monday.

Abu Bakr al-Qirbi met with Feierstein, U.S. ambassador to Yemen, who is ending his tenure after two years in the country.

Qirbi "underlined the importance of the American and international support for the transitional phase and Yemen's desire to push forward the relations with the United States," the official Saba News Agency reported.

Yemeni officials told their U.S. counterparts during an August meeting in Washington there were more than 500 delegates assigned to a national reconciliation agenda.

Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in 2012 following lengthy national protests coinciding with pro-democracy protests in the Middle East and North Africa.

Yemen was the subject of a regional terrorism alert issued in early August by the U.S. State Department. More than a dozen U.S. embassies across the region were closed temporarily as a security precaution.

Yemen downplayed the security risk, highlighting diplomatic outreach efforts in the capital city. The U.S. Embassy in Sanaa remains closed for regular services.

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