Obama calls Saleh, hails political reforms in Yemen

US Prez has welcomed political reforms in Yemen in a call with his counterpart Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Last Updated: Feb 04, 2011, 11:51 AM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama has
welcomed political reforms in Yemen in a call with his
counterpart Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had announced not to seek
re-election in 2013.

"President Obama called President Ali Abdullah Saleh
of Yemen on February 2 to welcome the significant reform
measures that President Saleh had announced earlier that day,
and to stress that President Saleh now needs to follow-up his
pledge with concrete actions," White House said in a
statement.

Obama asked Yemeni security forces to show restraint
and refrain from violence against demonstrators, who are
exercising their right to free association, assembly and
speech.

The US President told Saleh it is imperative that
Yemen takes forceful action against al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula (AQAP) to protect innocent lives in Yemen as well as
abroad.

"President Obama expressed concern over the release of
Abd-Ilah al-Shai, who had been sentenced to five years in
prison for his association with AQAP," it said.

Saleh thanked Obama for US` support and said Yemen is
committed to continuing and strengthening its relations with
the United States, White House stated.

PTI