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Obama to host Yemeni president at White House next week; Guantanamo detainees on agenda

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama will meet with Yemen’s president, Abdo Rabby Mansour Hadi, next week at the White House. Topping the agenda are the Arab nation’s political transition, counterterrorism efforts and the U.S. push to return Yemeni detainees held in Guantanamo Bay.

Obama will host Hadi on Thursday. The White House says Obama will underscore U.S. efforts to improve Yemen’s democracy and support its development.

In May, Obama lifted a ban on transfers of Guantanamo Bay detainees to Yemen. Most detainees eligible for transfer are Yemeni.

On counterterrorism, the talks are sure to include al-Qaida in Yemen, which the Obama administration considers al-Qaida’s most active and dangerous branch.

Hadi’s visit comes just days after pardoning a journalist jailed for three years on charges of helping al-Qaida. Obama had opposed his release.

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