Officials said the cooperation accord capped several months of
high-level U.S. military visits to Yemen, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the visits reviewed
Yemen's military requirements amid the war with the Iranian-backed Shi'ite
rebels in the north and the Al Qaida insurgency.
The U.S. military delegation was headed by Gen. Jeffrey Smith, director
of planning at the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Smith was said to have expressed
satisfaction over progress in the talks, the second round of sessions by the
general staffs of the militaries of Yemen and the United States.
"We will continue visits in order to improve the two countries relations
to its highest level," Smith said.
The Yemeni delegation was headed by Chief of Staff Gen. Ahmed Al Ashwal.
Al Ashwal said the United States was increasing cooperation with Yemen in
all areas of defense and security.
Officials said the agreement was expected to pave the way for increased
U.S. military and security aid to Sanaa. They said the two countries sought
to agree on priorities for the Yemeni military and security forces.
"The two sides signed an agreement of cooperation in exchanging
experiences, trainings and qualification in the military and security field
between the two countries armed forces," the official Yemen news agency,
The regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh has identified the
Iranian-backed Believing Youth movement as the key threat to Yemen.
Officials said the United States said the leading threat was Al Qaida, and
argued that the Shi'ite rebellion could be defused through development
efforts in northern Yemen.