Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Blog

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, during her tour of the Gulf states, made an unexpected visit to Yemen yesterday. Clinton’s trip to Yemen, the first by a Secretary of State since James Baker in 1990, endeavored to expand diplomatic ties between the two countries. The Secretary’s visit differed from traditional U.S. outreach efforts to Yemen, which have focused primarily on military relations to combat the rising threat of al-Qaeda in the country. Engaging the Yemeni government in recent months has been a top priority and a vital focus of U.S. efforts to address what appears to be a dangerous surge in terrorist activity within the country’s boarders.

Secretary Clinton’s visit, however, went beyond addressing security matters and included unprecedented outreach efforts to local communities. Through direct dialogue with citizens, Clinton discussed various social issues including women’s rights. Prior to her 5 hour surprise stop in Yemen, Clinton visited the U.A.E. Today she spent time in Oman before ultimately ending her tour of the Gulf region in Qatar. The Secretary’s seemingly new approach of engaging citizens directly on social issues and other concerns may mark the beginning of putting into practice the new relationship sought by this administration between the United States and the peoples of the Arab world.

 

For more on this subject, view:

Mark Landler, "Clinton Bluntly Presses Arab Leaders on Reform", New York Times, January 1, 2011.

 

 

 

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