National Dialogue Conference:
Yemen Post: Is former President Ali Saleh an obstacle for Yemen's National Dialogue going forward?
Ambassador Gerald Feierstein: Nothing is currently an obstacle in front of the National Dialogue. So as it is now there is nothing going wrong.
There were certainly groups or individuals who did not support the NDC to begin with and did not want to see it succeed. But in the end of the process we can see that almost all the issues that stood in the way have been resolved and I am pretty sure that the remaining obstacles will be solved.
Most of 2012's points of difference are moving forward and since then we have seen successes when it comes to making the new government and with military reforms.
Its not over yet and one of the remaining steps is to work on the constitution.
With that said, some people or groups see their interests served with the failure of the dialogue, but the Yemeni people and the public are seeing the dialogue go forward and this is what we care more about.
Yemen Post: How does the US government plan to deal with the Houthis in the future?
Ambassador Gerald Feierstein What we have always said is that the Houthis have a legitimate role in this society and in helping Yemen going forward.
Its very good they, as we hear, have positively participated in the National Dialogue. We heard that there is an agreement in the Saada working groups within the National Dialogue with is a good step forward. We hope this is a reflection on their seriousness in being involved politically. If they do that, it's a positive thing. And we would support them going forward.
Yemen Post: What if the Houthis don't do that and don't cooperate?
Ambassador Gerald Fierstein: If the Houthis don't then we would have to reevaluate how we deal with them.
We previously said we are worried about the Houthis relationship with Hezbollah and Iran and these issues will again be brought up.
Yemen Post: Hundreds of US forces are currently in Yemen, does the US have any plan to expand its military presence in Yemen?
Ambassador Gerald Feierstein: No, no. there are not plans for the US to expand its forces. And the number of US forces on the ground in Yemen is exaggerated so there are not hundreds of US forces in Yemen.
The forces that are in Yemen are here for training missions and purposes.
Yemen Post: Would drones or surveillance planes return to the skies above Sana'a?
This deals with our ability to provide Yemen surveillance, we look at where it is possibly needed.
Ambassador Gerald Feierstein I think we were in Sanaa at a particular moment because there was a threat and it was not a general practice. It depends on the situation the country faces.
Yemen Post: You previously said that you will be involved in Yemeni politics even after you leave your post as US ambassador in Yemen?
Ambassador Gerald Feierstein I would most likely be working in the regional Beraeu in the State Department on the Yemen relation and help in developing the Yemen-US relations going forward.
September 22, US Embassy in Sanaa