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Cablegate: Special Media Reaction On Burns's Visit to Yemen

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

UNCLAS SANAA 002474

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA, NEA/ARP, NEA/PD, NEA/RA, DS/OP/NEA AND
S/CT
CENTCOM FOR POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR PTER KISL YM
SUBJECT: SPECIAL MEDIA REACTION ON BURNS'S VISIT TO YEMEN
OCTOBER 3-4, 2003.

NEA/PPD FOR MQUINN, JKINCANNON, ACASPER, JDAVIES


1. SUMMARY AND COMMENT: U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
William Burns's visit to Yemen received wide and positive
coverage in the Yemeni media in general. Without commenting
on the visit, some papers published straight coverage of his
meetings with President Saleh and with the Supreme
Commission for Elections and Referenda. This time, the media
coverage of a visit made by a top US official to Yemen was
less negative than has often been the case in the past. END
SUMMARY AND COMMENT.


2. "Al-Thawra 10/04" (official daily) carried straight
reporting of the visit and indicated that Burns discussed
international and regional developments including U.S.-
Yemeni co-operation in the areas of security, counter-
terrorism and development with the President.


3. Yemen TV conducted an exclusive interview with A/S Burns
on October 4. Questions focused on US aid to Yemen, the
future of Palestine and the Road Map and US plans for Iraq
and the Guantanamo prisoners. The interviewer raised a
question quoting Yemen's Prime Minister, Dr. Bajamal, who
said in a recent interview with Reuters that the US is
making impossible demands on Yemen in the war on terror and
providing little aid in return. A/S Burns disagreed with
the Prime Minister and told Yemen TV that it was in the
interest of Yemen to have secure borders and fight violent
extremists threatening Yemen's economy. Burns also added
that Yemen benefited more than any other Arab country from
the Middle East Partnership Initiative. Yemen TV broadcast
the interview in English with no Arabic subtitles.

4. The bi-weekly English-language Yemen Times 10/06
published excerpts of the Yemen TV interview with Burns. It
also covered his visits to the NGOs implementing programs
funded by the US Embassy in Sana'a.

5. Al-Sahwa.net of the Islamist Yemeni Congregation for
Reform party (Islah) reported Sunday 10/05 that the visit
was to discuss counter-terroris stating: "The U.S.
official's talks with President Saleh focused on the Yemeni
government performance in counter-terrorism."

6. "Annas" independent weekly 10/06, published an op-ed
article commenting that A/S Burns's visit to Yemen aimed to
put pressure on Yemen "to comply to more US demands at the
level of security and in relation with the situations in
Palestine and Iraq."
HULL

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