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Hillary Clinton hails Yemen's presidential election

(Xinhua)

08:11, February 23, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday hailed the presidential election in Yemen, offering continuous support to the Arab nation as it confronts challenges ahead.

Extending her congratulations to the Yemeni people on the "successful" presidential vote, the top U.S. diplomat called the move "another important step forward" in the democratic transition process that continues the important work of political and constitutional reform.

"Today's election sends a clear message that the people of Yemen are looking forward to a brighter democratic future," she said in a written statement.

Cautioning "there is still more work to be done," she took note of a scheduled national dialogue conference meant to address critical issues of national unity and the fundamental structure of Yemeni government and society.

She also noted that steps are needed to address urgent economic, social and humanitarian challenges facing the country.

The presidential poll and the national dialogue conference are part of the peace deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed the deal in November 2011 in return for immunity from prosecution, a move that saw him hand over power to his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the only consensus candidate in Tuesday's poll.

As new president, Hadi will lead a two-year transitional government tasked with amending the constitution and holding parliamentary elections.

"The United States, along with its partners in the international community, will continue to support Yemen as it works to implement these reforms and confront these challenges so that all Yemenis will have the opportunity to realize their potential," Clinton said.

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