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Cablegate: Media Reaction: Ambassador's July 8 Trip to Aden

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

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SANAA 001817

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER MARR YM COUNTER TERRORISM MARITIME SECURITY
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: AMBASSADOR'S JULY 8 TRIP TO ADEN

REF: A. SANAA 1700

B. SANAA 1699

1. (u) Begin summary: The Ambassador's July 8 trip to the
southern port city of Aden (reftels) to attend the graduation
ceremony of the first group of Yemeni officials trained by
the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) received favorable coverage in
both national and local press. During the visit, the
Ambassador also met with the newly appointed Governor of
Aden, Dr. Yahya Al-Shaibi, to discuss the training,
strengthening Aden's security posture and an
Internet-in-the-classroom initiative (ref b). Two Aden-based
independent newspapers -- the widely-circulated daily
Al-Ayyam, and the weekly Al-Tariq -- carried extensive
coverage of the visit underscoring the vital role of Yemeni
coastal forces in safeguarding the port of Aden and the
Yemeni coastline. Al-Ayyam also published exclusive
interviews with Ambassador Hull (text para 5) and USCG
Representative to Yemen, Captain Robert Innes (text para 6).
End summary.

2. (u) On July 9, Al-Ayyam, an independent daily based in
Aden, published a full-page, illustrated story titled
"American Ambassador Praises First Graduates of the Yemen
Coast Guard and Affirms They Will Be A Deterring Force to
Protect Yemen,s Security." The article described the
graduation of about 20 Yemeni officers as the "first (Yemen)
coastal force trained by experts from the U.S. Coast Guard,"
and said the Deputy Governor of Aden, Abdul-Karim Shaif,
praised the efforts of the American experts. The paper also
mentioned the Ambassador,s discussions with the newly
appointed Governor of Aden, Dr. Al-Shaibi (ref b).

3. (u) On July 10, Al-Ayyam published an exclusive
full-page interview under the heading "U.S. Ambassador to the
Paper: Yemen Exerted Serious Efforts to Increase Security for
Aden Port and Yemeni Coasts" (text para 5). The interview
discussed various aspects of U.S.-ROYG cooperation, as well
as reconstruction in Iraq and the Roadmap.

4. (u) Aden-based weekly Al-Tariq carried a half-page
report titled "Aimed at Protection and Safeguard of Shipping
at the Regional Waters the Americans Sponsor Training of
First Group of Yemen Coast Guard Forces" on July 15. The
report says that following the attacks on the USS Cole at the
Port of Aden and the French tanker along the coast of
Mukalla, there has been an urgent need for the existence of a
security apparatus to undertake the responsibility of
ensuring safety and security for Yemen territorial waters.
Al-Tariq concludes that this will require the establishment
of a Yemen Coast Guard.

5. (u) Excerpt from Ambassador's Interview with Aden-based
daily Al-Ayyam.

(Begin text)

Al-Ayyam: Could you brief us on the reason for your visit to
Aden?

Ambassador: We have three reasons for this visit. First, is
to meet with the new Governor of Aden who has a good
reputation. Since we are interested in doing a number of
things in Aden, it would be good to get to know the Governor
at the beginning of his new post and also to know his ideas
and explore the issues of co-operation. The second reason
for the visit is to announce a new program launched by the
Embassy, which is the e-learning program under the Middle
Eastern partnership initiative. We have $ 1.5 million to get
Internet into 20 to 25 Yemeni schools. We will choose five
schools in Aden and five in Sana,a. The rest will be
distributed to other Yemeni governorates. We wanted to
inform the Governor about this project and get his support.
The third reason is that the U.S. Coast Guard has a team in
Aden providing training for the Yemen Coast Guard. Today we
are attending the graduation of the first batch of
U.S.-trained Yemen Coast Guard officers and I wanted to be
here for the graduation.

Al-Ayyam: Your government has a lot of programs for Yemen,
some of which are in Aden, such as the de-mining program and
the current security training for Aden Airport security. Why
don,t you have a consulate here as rumors indicate that you
have an intention to open one?

Ambassador: I think the answer to that is simple that we
feel that we could do all our works in Aden by visiting Aden
regularly from Sana,a. Transportation between Sana,a and
Aden including air flights are available and the roads are
good. This allows us to do several programs though we do not
have permanent representation here.
Al-Ayyam: How do you think Coast Guard training would serve
Aden Port security and how would that be reflected in the
West?

Ambassador: I think the world is watching Yemen make serious
efforts to increase security in Aden port and along the
Yemeni coasts as a whole. This is not the issue of high
sounding statements, but these are doable efforts and do not
only include getting the required equipment but also getting
the necessary training to enable the Coast Guard force to use
such equipment effectively. In addition, the Coast Guard is
building a qualified modern institution with the required
infrastructure such as the headquarters and maintenance
centers to be able to run their operations. Therefore you
have to look at what the Coast Guard is doing and not at what
is being said about them. If you looked at what Yemenis are
doing to improve security in Aden and along the Yemen coast,
I think that will have a great effect to change the image
that there is no security in this area.

Al-Ayyam: In regards to e-learning, how many schools will
have the program? Will the private sector take part in this
program?

Ambassador: The program includes 20 schools at least in
Yemen and we hope that the private sector will participate.
We are currently in contact with the private sector and we
have found some interest. We believe that it is natural for
the private sector to contribute to this program since
Internet training in Yemen for a new generation capable of
using the Internet would be very useful for private
establishments.

(End text)

6. (u) On July 9, Al-Ayyam carried an article based on a
July 8 interview with USCG Representative Captain Robert
Innes.

(Begin text)

"U.S. Maritime Officer to Al-Ayyam: Aden is Nominated to
Establish a Regional Coast Guard Training Center"

In his talk to al-Ayyam, Captain Robert Innes, Maritime
Advisor to the Yemeni Authorities, described the graduation
of the first batch of the Yemen Coast Guard as a step in a
series of others to train the Yemen Coast Guard. He
indicated that "the training of the first batch focuses on
safety and security and future training will include maritime
and engineering skills for all, since achieving
professionalism in this area means training to all sailors."

As far as the new training programs are concerned, he said
that "new training programs actually began before this one,
which ended today (July 8th); even started, and will
continue." "We have been working with the Yemen Navy for two
years and my job is to transfer knowledge and experience and
infrastructure equipment to the leadership, and once this
leadership takes over they would be able to do everything by
themselves" he added.

Responding to al-Ayyam,s question about having a regional
training center instead of moving from a port to another and
whether Aden is nominated for this; Mr. Innes said that there
will be one in the future and that Aden is nominated "but we
are looking for an institution for which Aden could act as a
branch. The center in Aden will be leading a 500km-long
coast with operation centers alongside the coast. Other
ports such as Mukalla and Hodeida will have branches too.
There is a great benefit in making certain duties such as
training central since this is an economic issue too. The
Yemen Navy and the Yemen Coast Guard have been clever about
this since they have selected the best examples from all over
the world and not from the United States alone and I am
encouraging them to do this. The system followed in the U.S.
may not be the best for Yemen. America is a big country and
applying the American system in Yemen may not be the best
solution, and the Yemen Government has looked around the
world for the models that suit them best."

(End text)

HULL

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