U.N. envoy Benomar in Yemen to address reconciliation

Dec. 6, 2013 at 9:00 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, Dec. 6 (UPI) -- U.N. special envoy to Yemen Jamal Benomar said Friday he was optimistic about the trajectory of national reconciliation efforts under way in the African country.

"I am sure that the Yemenis will work hand in hand for the success of the national dialogue and for the higher interests of the country," he told the official Saba News Agency.

Yemeni President Abdu Rabbo Mansour Hadi has pressed forward with a national reconciliation agenda since taking office in 2012. He told U.S. officials this year there were more than 100 Yemeni leaders working on the issue.

Yemen is facing national security and political changes stemming from a Shiite rebellion in the north of the country, southern separatists in the south and the presence of al-Qaida.

Saba reported at least 52 people were killed and 167 others were injured in a terrorist attack Thursday on the country's Defense Ministry complex. Saba reported Thursday the attack was carried out by al-Qaida.

In a statement condemning the attack, British Foreign Minister William Hague said terrorism shouldn't interfere with Yemeni reforms.

Benomar said he was in the country to ensure all parties in Yemen take part on the national reconciliation process.

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