Yemen bids farewell to Ambassador Hull [Archives:2004/758/Community]

July 26 2004

Hassan Al-Zaidi
Farewell parties have begun to bid farewell to the outgoing Ambassador of the United States of America, H.E. Edmund Hull, on the occasion of the termination of his post as ambassador an expert on combating terrorism. Ambassador Hull, who speaks Arabic and whose wife is of Arab origin was considered one of the most controversial American ambassadors to Yemen amongst political and social circles in Yemen.
He encountered a fierce campaign against what media organizations described as his moving out from diplomatic norms, in conducting his activities and movements in various Yemeni tribal areas.
It is believed that Ambassador Hull personally supervised the assassination of Ali Al-Harethy a member of an alleged Al-Qaeda Organization in Yemen (and six of his guards), by a missile launched from an unmanned US warplane.
However, Ambassador Hull was looked upon by Yemeni governorates accused of harboring terrorists, as one of the best and most successful American Ambassadors, primarily because of his comprehension of the special situations of those governorates and for his frequent visits to them, particularly to Marib, Saddah and Al-Jouf governorates. His visits were followed by the implementation of several development and services projects, the governorates were desperately lacking in water, health, education, and agricultural fields.
Some went further by saying that due to his policies, he helped to defuse major crises in the regions that could have dragged on (under the pretext of fighting terrorism) with the consent of the international community.
But some political parties and circles cast doubts on the ambassador's activities and field visits to tribal areas in Yemen, citing political and intelligence aims. To the extent that some parliament members questioned his activities and visits during several parliamentary deliberation sessions. A case was brought up that the Ambassador sought the support of the Yemeni government to withdraw and purchase weapons from Yemeni markets.
Ambassador Hull, a shrewd diplomat and security expert, is preparing to depart Yemen after spending four years as one of the most active ambassadors to Yemen who will be remembered as the ambassador who did not give a damn about diplomacy.