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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on Travel by John Brennan

At the request of the President, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism John Brennan is travelling this week to Sudan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In Khartoum today, Mr. Brennan and Sudan Special Envoy Ambassador Princeton Lyman met with Sudanese government officials to discuss implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.   In his meetings with Sudanese officials, Mr. Brennan discussed the status of the ongoing review of Sudan’s inclusion on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and the importance of counterterrorism cooperation against al-Qa'ida and affiliated groups.  Mr. Brennan underscored President Obama's deep concern over the continued presence of Sudanese Armed Forces in Abyei and urged a rapid and peaceful resolution to the crisis and to resolving outstanding CPA issues. U.S. Special Envoy Lyman will remain in the region to work with the African Union, United Nations and the parties to urgently address this crisis.   This trip reflects the President's personal commitment to a peaceful resolution of the problems that have beset the region over the last several decades.

As part of our close consultations with Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) partners, Mr. Brennan next goes to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for meetings with government officials to discuss options to address the deteriorating situation in Yemen.  We strongly condemn the recent clashes in Sana’a and the deplorable use of violence by the government against peaceful demonstrators in Taiz.  These tragic events underscore the need for President Saleh to sign the GCC-brokered transition proposal and to begin the transfer of power immediately.  That is the best way to avoid further bloodshed and for the Yemeni people to realize their aspirations for peace, reform, and prosperity.