Abizaid discusses security cooperation with Saleh [Archives:2004/722/Front Page]

March 22 2004

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
President Ali Abdullah Saleh met on Saturday General John Abizaid, the Commander of the US Central Command Forces, and discussed with him the cooperation between Yemen and the US, mainly in the fields of security, military and the War on Terrorism, the state-run Saba News agency said. Saleh and the US official also discussed the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Horn of Africa region.
According to the official source, Abizaid praised Yemen's efforts in the in the fight against terrorism and the role it plays to stabilize the situation in the Horn of Africa. He also stressed the US's keen interest to develop its cooperation with Yemen in various aspects.
The meeting was attended by several top officials including the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense and the Interior as well as the Chief of the Political Security Organization. From the US side, it was attended by M. Robson, Commander of the US forces in the Horn of Africa region and the US Ambassador to Yemen, Edmund Hull.
Abizaid's visit, which is a part of a regional trip to the region, was scheduled to start on February 20th, but was postponed due to developments in Iraq. He was expected to attend a joint US-Yemen military training exercise in Aden.
Yemen officially received 8 boats for the Coast Guard from the US in mid February as a part of the US support to help Yemen patrol its long and porous coastline which stretches over 2400 km. Yemen needs around 150 boats to be able to control its maritime borders. A US official told Yemen Times that his government would ship 4 more boats to Yemen by the end of this year. The cost of building of the coast guard is expected to reach $60 million.