Ronald Neumann: “Democracy is not just elections. It is a fair play and equality of opportunities for all.” [Archives:1998/20/Local News]
“We are interested in stronger ties with Yemen,” said Mr. Ronald Neumann, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs. The American official who was speaking in a press conference attended by Yemen Times Managing Editor, Dr. Salah Haddash, expressed support for the country’s democratization process. But he cautioned that democracy was not just elections. “It is a system of justice, free dialogue and equality of opportunities for all parties,” he added.
He then disclosed that the US is considering a number of steps in support of the economic reforms presently being implemented by the Yemeni government. He mentioned the possible return of the Peace Corps volunteers, and the extension of the USAID program for two more years.
Finally, Mr. Neumann pointed to 3 agreements to be signed on Tuesday May 19th by Finance Minister Alawi Salami and US Ambassador Barbara Bodine. They are debt rescheduling agreements between the US and Yemen. The first deals with the 1997 Paris Club Agreed Minute. The Second deals with rescheduling of Commodity Credit Corporation debts, and the third with the rescheduling of older US AID debts.