Yesterday, President Obama’s top foreign policy aide John Brennan quietly moved into Saudi Arabia for secret talks with Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh at a Saudi military hospital, where Saleh is recovering from a near-successful assassination attempt.
Brennan’s talks were aimed at convincing Saleh to agree to immediately step down and hand over control of the nation to his deputy, Major General Hadi. Indications were however that Saleh was no more open to the deal now than he has been for the past several months.
And perhaps pointing to that being an unacceptable response, Brennan was in Yemen today, meeting with Maj. Gen. Hadi to press him to accept a “swift transition” deal. Hadi has previously been unwilling to accept a deal to oust Saleh.
Brennan said the Obama Administration was willing to increase aid to Yemen, which is in a state of virtual collapse after months of protests and assorted civil wars, but only after the GCC proposal for a transition is “signed and implemented.” It seems the US may not care if it is signed by Saleh or Hadi.