WASHINGTON (Jul. 2)
The United States and Yemen formally resumed diplomatic relations today, the State Department announced. The move, symbolized by an exchange of toasts between US Secretary of State William P. Rogers and Yemeni Premier and Foreign Minister Mohsen el-Ayni in Sana, ended a breach that dated from June, 1967 when Yemen broke relations with Washington during the Arab-Israeli Six-Day War.
Yemen is the first of the Arab countries that severed ties with the US at that time to re-establish them. Secretary Rogers is the first American Secretary of State to visit the nation on the southwestern tip of the Arabian peninsula. His flight there from Jakarta, Indonesia, yesterday was an unscheduled detour from the Secretary’s current world trip.
A State Department official said of the renewed relations today, “We think it is a very positive and important development,” but declined to say whether other Arab countries would follow Yemen’s example.
According to Yemeni government sources, President Abdul Rahman al-Iryani of Yemen sent a message to other Arab heads of state before Rogers’ visit explaining that Yemen has suffered economic set-backs because of the absence of relations with the US. He was said to have remarked that none of the other Arab nations had offered to assist Yemen to meet its financial problems.