In his first public speech since being inaugurated as president of Yemen, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi promised a strong fight against al Qaeda and political reconciliation at home.
Hadi spoke Saturday before military graduates at the Yemeni Military Academy.
“The real battle against the terrorist al Qaeda organization has yet to begin and will not end until we have eradicated their presence in every district, village and position; it will not end until internally displaced citizens are assured that they can return safely to their homes and organized terrorist operatives have surrendered their weapons and rid themselves of ideologies that contradict the sacred values of the Islamic religion,” he said.
His public remarks follow a meeting last month with FBI Director Robert Mueller, who visited Yemen to discuss the counterterrorism program there.
A presidential aide told CNN that Hadi promised complete cooperation with the United States.
Yemen’s offensive against al Qaeda comes at a time when it is beset by political turbulence dating to last year. Protests led to the departure of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh from office.
Hadi addressed the need for a unified military to ensure stability and security in Yemen.
“I will not allow divisions in the military to continue nor will I allow the military to deviate from its core duties,” he said.
He also called on political parties to build on the Gulf Cooperation Council initiative that paved the way for a transfer of power.
“The (GCC) initiative succeeded in pulling fingers away from the triggers of rifles and encouraging factions to resume dialogue,” he said. “Political parties must follow through on the commitments they made when they signed the GCC initiative and its implementation mechanism, halting offensive rhetoric against each other, and launching new policies that promote respect and the right to disagree; in order to affirm peaceful social values, mend the shattered souls, and wipe out provocative thoughts of partition.”