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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
03SANAA1397
2003-06-18 04:07:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Sanaa
Cable title:  

NEW MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE WELCOMES USAID

Tags:   EAID  PGOV  PINR  YM  ECON  COM  DOMESTIC  POLITICS 
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						C O N F I D E N T I A L SANAA 001397 

SIPDIS

DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USAID ANE/DAA, JAMES KUDNER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/16/2013
TAGS: EAID PGOV PINR YM ECON COM DOMESTIC POLITICS
SUBJECT: NEW MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE WELCOMES USAID
REPRESENTATIVE


Classified By: Classified by CDA Alan Misenheimer for reasons 1.5 b. a
nd d.

C O N F I D E N T I A L SANAA 001397

SIPDIS

DEPT PLEASE PASS TO USAID ANE/DAA, JAMES KUDNER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/16/2013
TAGS: EAID PGOV PINR YM ECON COM DOMESTIC POLITICS
SUBJECT: NEW MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE WELCOMES USAID
REPRESENTATIVE


Classified By: Classified by CDA Alan Misenheimer for reasons 1.5 b. a
nd d.


1. (C) Summary: Minister of Agriculture Hasan Omar Sowaid
told Charge and USAID Representative that he welcomes USG
assistance in the agriculture sector. Sowaid is the youngest
Minister of the newly appointed Cabinet at 34, and new to the
Sanaa political scene. However, with agriculture employing
54% of Yemeni workers, and accounting for 15.3% of GDP,
Minister Sowaid has the potential to positively impact the
lives of many Yemeni citizens. End Summary.


2. (U) Charge called on newly-appointed Minister of
Agriculture Hasan Omar Sowaid on June 15 to congratulate him
on his appointment and introduce Douglas Heisler as the new
USAID representative to Yemen. Sowaid welcomed Charge and
Heisler and briefly described the useful impact of previous
USAID cooperation in Yemen. Sowaid added that there was
still more work to be done in the field of agriculture, and
that donor assistance in the agricultural field has recently
been declining. Any US assistance, he said, will be warmly
received.


3. (U) Heisler reviewed potential areas for cooperation,
including production, processing and marketing of
agricultural products. Sowaid was receptive to USAID's offer
of consultants, especially concerning his plans to reorganize
the entire Ministry.


4. (U) Charge also handed Sowaid an invitation from the
Secretary of Agriculture to USDA's upcoming Conference and

SIPDIS
Expo on Technology in Sacramento. Note: Due to the recent
change of government, and change of Ministers, Sowaid is
awaiting permission to attend from the Prime Minister. End
Note.

-------------- --------------
Bio Note: Farmer One Day, Minister of Agriculture the Next
-------------- --------------


5. (C) Minister Sowaid is a political neophyte and, at 34, he
is the youngest Minister of the new Cabinet. Long-time
Embassy contact and prominent businessman Abdul Wahab Thabet
told Pol/Econoff that Sowaid had approached his brother,
Abdul Jalil Thabet, the GPC representative for the Hodeida
Governorate, asking for a job in a local branch office of the
Ministry of Agriculture. Thabet stressed that this man had
little ambition beyond farming, and had not sought anything
higher than a simple office job. However, after Sowaid had
won his constituency and apparently through his good
connections to the Thabets, Sowaid was appointed Minister.
Thabet also implied that the Minister's appointment was also
related to the geographical proportionment and that Sowaid's
strong ties to Hodeida figured prominently in his being
chosen as a Minister.


6. (C) In his conversation with Charge, Sowaid stressed his
background as a farmer, saying he had personally recived
assistance from both the United States and Russia for his
farm. Sowaid was educated in Cairo, receiving his BA in
Agricultural Sciences. He has not traveled to the United
States.
--------------
Comment: Hope for Ministry of Agriculture
--------------


7. (C) The Ministry of Agriculture was one of the most
notoriously mismanaged Ministries in the former government.
Sowaid seems open to new ideas and warmly accepted all offers
of advice. While still young, he has the backing of one of
the most progressive commercial families in Yemen and will
bring welcome new blood for agriculture in Yemen.
MISENHEIMER