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World > Middle East > Yemen > Relations with U.S. (Notes)

Yemen - Relations with U.S. (Notes)


U.S.?YEMEN RELATIONS
The United States established diplomatic relations with the Imamate in 1946. A resident legation, later elevated to embassy status, was opened in Taiz (the capital at the time) on March 16, 1959 and moved to Sanaa in 1966. The United States was one of the first countries to recognize the Yemen Arab Republic, doing so on December 19, 1962. A major U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) program constructed the Mocha-Taiz-Sanaa highway and the Kennedy memorial water project in Taiz, as well as many smaller projects. On June 6, 1967, the YAR, under Egyptian influence, broke diplomatic relations with the United States in the wake of the Arab-Israeli conflict of that year. Secretary of State William P. Rogers restored relations following a visit to Sanaa in July 1972, and a new USAID agreement was concluded in 1973.

On December 7, 1967, the United States recognized the Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen and elevated its Consulate General in Aden to embassy status. However, relations were strained. The PDRY was placed on the list of nations that support terrorism. On October 24, 1969, south Yemen formally broke diplomatic relations with the United States. The United States and the PDRY reestablished diplomatic relations on April 30, 1990, only 3 weeks before the announcement of unification. However, the embassy in Aden, which closed in 1969, was never reopened, and the PDRY as a political entity no longer exists.

During a 1979 border conflict between the Yemen Arab Republic and the Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen, the United States cooperated with Saudi Arabia to greatly expand the security assistance program to the YAR by providing F-5 aircraft, tanks, vehicles and training. George Bush, while Vice President, visited in April 1986, and President Ali Abdullah Saleh visited the United States in January 1990. The United States had a $42 million USAID program in 1990. From 1973 to 1990, the United States provided the YAR with assistance in the agriculture, education, and health and water sectors. Many Yemenis were sent on U.S. Government scholarships to study in the region and in the United States. There was a Peace Corps program with about 50 volunteers. The U.S. Information Service operated an English-language institute in Sanaa.

In 1990, as a result of Yemens actions in the Security Council following the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the United States drastically reduced its presence in Yemen including canceling all military cooperation, non-humanitarian assistance, and the Peace Corps program. USAID levels dropped in FY 1991 to $2.9 million, but food assistance through the PL 480 and PL 416 (B) programs continued through 2006. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provided 30,000 metric tons of soybean meal that were sold for approximately $7.5 million to finance programs in support of Yemen?s agricultural sector.

The United States was actively involved in and strongly supportive of parliamentary elections in 1993 as well as the 2006 presidential and local council elections, and continues working to strengthen Yemens democratic institutions. The USAID program, focused in the health field, had slowly increased to $8.5 million in FY 1995, but ended in FY 2000. It was reinvigorated in 2003 and a USAID office has re-opened in Sanaa. Yemen has also received significant funding from the Middle East Partnership Initiative. Funds went, in large part, to support literacy projects, election monitoring, training for civil society, and the improvement of electoral procedures.

Defense relations between Yemen and the United States are improving rapidly, with the resumption of International Military Education and Training assistance and the transfer of military equipment and spare parts. Yemen received $1.9 million in Foreign Military Financing in FY 2003. U.S. Foreign Military Financing for FY 2006 reached $8.42 million, reflecting the improvement in U.S.-Yemeni security cooperation.

Currently, Yemen is an important partner in the global war on terrorism, providing assistance in the military, diplomatic, and financial arenas. President Ali Abdullah Saleh visited Washington, DC, in November 2001. Since that time, Yemen has stepped up its counter-terrorism cooperation efforts with the United States, achieving significant results and improving overall security in Yemen. President Saleh returned to Washington in June 2004 when he was invited to attend the G-8 Sea Island Summit. The Summit was an excellent forum for Yemen to share its democratic reform experiences, and it has agreed to participate in future activities detailed in the Sea Island charter. In November 2005, President Saleh again visited high-level officials in Washington, including President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Thomas C. Krajeski
Deputy Chief of Mission--Nabeel Khoury
Chief, Political, Economic, and Commercial Section--Joey R. Hood
Chief, Public Affairs Office--Ann Marie Roubachewsky

The address of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen is P.O. Box 22347, Sanaa, Republic of Yemen.


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