US counterterrorism official urges Yemen powers on peace deal
US President Barack Obama's chief counterterrorism advisor, John Brennan, Sunday urged Yemen's political powers to help fully implement a UN-sponsored agreement that has achieved a peaceful power transfer in the Arabian Peninsula country, dpa reported.
The SABA state news agency quoted the US official as telling Yemeni President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi in a phone call that the world was keen on advancing Yemen's security, unity and stability.
The White House confirmed in a statement that Brennan had spoken with Hadi to discuss the country's political transition.
"He noted that it is essential that all Yemeni political actors, especially those from the previous government, play a constructive role in the transition process, and he expressed concern over recent reports that some former government officials are being disruptive," the statement said.
Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years, signed in November the Gulf-brokered deal whereby he agreed to step down in exchange for immunity to prosecution. His deputy Hadi took office last month after winning in a single-candidate election.
Brennan's call comes amid a rise in attacks by radicals with suspected links to al-Qaeda in Yemen and difficulties facing the new president in restructuring security agencies still controlled by Saleh's loyalists.
Hadi Sunday called on world and regional powers to stand by his country to help it restore stability and security, according to SABA.
The Yemeni president made the call during talks with the US Ambassador to Sana'a, Gerald Feierstein.
Hadi has vowed to fight al-Qaeda, calling it a "religious and national duty" to do so.
Militants have taken advantage of a year of mass protests against Saleh's rule and a weak central government to expand their influence in the impoverished country.