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Cablegate: Positive Media Reaction to Ambassador's Visit To

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SANAA 000857

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV SCUL YM
SUBJECT: POSITIVE MEDIA REACTION TO AMBASSADOR'S VISIT TO
MARIB AND POST'S DEVELOPMENT PROJECT FUNDING

1. Summary. Ambassador visited Marib Governorate, located in
the north of Yemen, from April 20-21. (Refer to Septel.)
The trip focused on health, development and cultural issues
in the region and provided the opportunity for Post to
emphasize work being funded by the U.S. Government in Marib.
In order to highlight project funding in the area, three
journalists and one photographer accompanied the Ambassador
on the trip. The journalists attended all events on both
days of the trip and have since positively reported on Post's
development projects in Marib. End Summary.

------------
Journalists
------------

2. Journalists accompanying Ambassador were Mohammed bin
Sallam from the Yemen Times (Yemen's principle English
language, quasi-independent weekly), Mohammed Fare
Al-Shaibani from Al-Ayyam (Aden-based independent), and
Abdullah Hizam, editor, and Abdul Aziz Omer Abdul Aziz,
photographer, from Saba News Agency (Yemen's main source of
official news information).

------------
Site Visits
------------

3. During the trip, the Ambassador signed an agricultural
agreement with the Governor of Marib, Abdulla Ali Al-Nassi,
and visited future agricultural/farm development sites.
Ambassador also visited a school with new desks funded by the
U.S. Government, discussed a future museum in Marib to
protect ancient artifacts found in the region and visited the
President's Hospital where he spoke with students who are
receiving scholarships from the U.S. Government to study
various medical fields. Upon completion of their studies,
the students will return to Marib to work at the President's
Hospital.

----------
Reporting
----------

4. Reporting to date has been immensely positive and has
covered most of the development sites visited during the trip.

5. On April 20, Yemen TV reported on the visit of the U.S.
Ambassador and stated that the focus of the trip was on
development and cultural issues in the area. The news
broadcast specifically mentioned the signing of an
agricultural agreement and the future building of a museum in
Marib.

6. Also on April 20, Al-Thawra (privately owned independent)
reported two stories regarding the signing of the
agricultural agreement and U.S. development aid to Yemen.
Al-Ayyam carried a front page story that covered the signing
of the agricultural agreement with the Governor of Marib and
a press conference held by Ambassador on the afternoon of the
trip. In the interview, one of the reporters asked, "Why
Marib?" as a place for U.S. funding. The Ambassador's
response of the importance of their being "no development
without security and no security without development" was
quoted in the paper.

7. On April 21, both Al-Thawra and Al-Ayyam reported
additional details of the Ambassador's visit. Al-Ayyam
carried a story on the front page with two photos of the
Ambassador and information regarding the U.S.-funded projects
in Marib.

8. Post expects additional coverage will be forthcoming once
the reporters who accompanied the Ambassador on the trip have
had time to process photographs and write additional story
lines. The Yemen Times is published only once per week and
the Yemen Times reporter indicated that the newspaper will be
reporting on the trip the following Sunday.

-------------------------------
Post PD Follow-Up to the Visit
-------------------------------

9. Post will be issuing additional press releases in the
up-coming week on each of the four funding initiatives
covered on the recent trip. The press releases will focus
mainly on the problem, how Yemenis are being incorporated
into the development projects addressing these issues and
what the U.S. Government is doing to provide development
assistance.


HULL

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