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Visit of General Mattis to Yemen

June 19, 2012

General James N. Mattis, Commander of U.S. Central Command visited Sana’a on June 18-19 to reaffirm the U.S. commitment to a strong partnership with Yemen’s government, and to discuss ways that the United States can cooperate with the Yemeni military to fight the mutual threat of al-Qaeda.  He met with Yemeni government officials, including President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Defense Minister Major General Muhammad Nasir Ahmad, and Chief of Staff Major General Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal.  He also met with NGOs and international development organizations to discuss coordination on relief for the Yemeni people affected by conflict.  During his visit, General Mattis laid a wreath at the memorial area, out of respect for the Central Security Forces that were killed in the terrorist attack at 70 meter square on May 21.

In his meetings, General Mattis affirmed the United States’ readiness to support Yemen’s efforts to defeat al-Qaeda, which threatens Yemen and the international community alike.  He also emphasized that the United States will serve in an advisory capacity as Yemeni leadership restructures the armed forces within both the Ministries of Defense and Interior. The United States is committed to standing by Yemen not only through military cooperation, but also in the political, economic, and humanitarian fields as Yemen proceeds with its historic transition.