Cablegate: Yemeni Reaction to Us Election: Great Nation,

R 051401Z NOV 08



E.O. 12958: N/A

1. On November 5, the Ambassador hosted a morning reception
to give key post contacts the opportunity to watch the
results of the US presidential elections with embassy
officers. At that event and in EmbOffs' other meetings, the
response to the elections has been overwhelmingly positive.
Post,s interlocutors expressed their happiness, both with
the President-Elect, and with an electoral system that would
allow a member of what is seen as an oppressed minority to
rise to the nation,s highest office.

2. Parliamentarian and member of the ruling General People's
Congress (GPC) Nabil Basha told POL/E Chief that he felt
Obama would be an excellent president and well-received in
the Arab world. A member of Post's Office of Military
Cooperation was stopped by a stranger and told, "if you elect
Obama there will be fewer recruits for al-Qaeda." World Bank
Senior Economist Ali Alabdulrazzaq told EconOff that an Obama
presidency could serve to "soften some (negative) feelings"
about the United States in the Arab world. Al-Jazeera's
Sana'a Bureau Chief told ConOff, "This is a victory for

3 Other contacts saw the election of an African American as
evidence that the United States is a land where the benefits
of democracy are available to all. Parliamentarian Shawki
al-Kahdi told the Embassy, "Obama winning is a clear
indicator that America is a land of democracy whether we
agree on its foreign policy or not." Secretary General
Yassine Noman of the opposition Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP)
said this is a "Historic moment for a great nation. Once
again America is an example for the world." GPC
Parliamentarian Shawki Shamsan told POL/E Chief that the
election of an African American "is an example to us, we can
learn from you." Perhaps the most eloquent (and surely the
briefest) comment on the election was a text message from Ali
Saif Hassan of the Political Development Forum which read
simply "Great Nation, Mabrook (congratulations.)"


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