WASHINGTON — The United States and South Yemen announced today that they are restoring diplomatic relations after a lapse of more than 20 years despite U.S. concerns that the Marxist country has aided terrorists.
The announcement, made simultaneously in Washington and South Yemen, came on the day that the State Department released its annual list of countries that support terrorism. South Yemen was included on the list because of evidence that it has supplied safe haven for international terrorist groups.
State Department spokeswoman Margaret Tutwiler said the decision to resume diplomatic relations was made independently of South Yemen's record on terrorism and was in line with the U.S. policy to have normal relations with as many nations in the world as possible.
Tutwiler said, "We are pleased at this restoration, and seek a useful productive relationship."
South Yemen--known formally as the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen--broke relations with the United States in October 1969, accusing the United States of meddling in its internal affairs. The restoration of relations comes at a time when South Yemen and non-Marxist North Yemen are talking of the possibility of political and economic reunification.