Yemen’s president apologizes for blaming America
The White House said on Wednesday that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called Obama’s top counterterrorism advisor John Brennan this morning to apologize for publicly accusing the United States and Israel of conspiring to destabilize the Arab world. The office of White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a readout of the call, which said ...
The White House said on Wednesday that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called Obama’s top counterterrorism advisor John Brennan this morning to apologize for publicly accusing the United States and Israel of conspiring to destabilize the Arab world.
The office of White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a readout of the call, which said that Saleh "conveyed his regret for misunderstandings related to his public remarks."
In those remarks, delivered at Sanaa University on Tuesday, Saleh said, "There’s an operations room in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world" and that it is "run by the White House."
Saleh, who receives hundreds of millions of dollars in direct military aid from the United States, also accused President Barack Obama of meddling in the Middle East. "Mr Obama, you’re the president of the United States; you’re not the president of the Arab world," he said.
State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley responded on Tuesday via a message on Twitter. "The protests in Yemen are not the product of external conspiracies. President Saleh knows better. His people deserve a better response," he tweeted.
According to the White House readout, Saleh "also said that he is firmly committed to meaningful political reform in Yemen and that he is reaching out to opposition elements in an effort to achieve reform through a democratic, inclusive, and peaceful process."
Meanwhile, anti-government protests hit Yemen again on Wednesday, with protesters reiterating their call for Saleh to end his 32-year rule.
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin
More from Foreign Policy
Can Russia Get Used to Being China’s Little Brother?
The power dynamic between Beijing and Moscow has switched dramatically.
Xi and Putin Have the Most Consequential Undeclared Alliance in the World
It’s become more important than Washington’s official alliances today.
It’s a New Great Game. Again.
Across Central Asia, Russia’s brand is tainted by Ukraine, China’s got challenges, and Washington senses another opening.
Iraqi Kurdistan’s House of Cards Is Collapsing
The region once seemed a bright spot in the disorder unleashed by U.S. regime change. Today, things look bleak.