WASHINGTON | Sat Nov 26, 2011
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism aide urged Yemen's ruling party Saturday to cooperate with the opposition after the vice president called presidential elections for February 21.
The White House said John Brennan telephoned Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to "commend" him for announcing the date of the election, struck under a deal to end violent protests against the rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
"It is critically important for the ruling party and the opposition to work together in the weeks and months ahead and to devote themselves fully to the implementation of the agreement," the White House said in a statement about the call.
Washington worries al Qaeda militants may seek to exploit instability in Yemen to strengthen their network in the country and launch attacks against the United States.
Saleh signed the deal with the opposition Wednesday, transferring power to Hadi after 33 years in office and 10 months of protest against his rule.
"All parties need to refrain from violence and proceed with the transition in a peaceful and orderly manner," the White House said, adding Brennan and Hadi "agreed on the need to quickly implement the terms" of the November 23 deal.