Sana’a: A top US diplomat in the Middle East says al Qaeda and Iran have used the turmoil and uncertainty in Yemen to increase their influence.
Jeffery Feltman, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, said national dialogue and a smooth transition to elections in the next two years would help counter al Qaeda and Iran.
Feltman said Iran, like al Qaeda, exploits instability in Yemen, pointing to increased Iranian influence in parts of Yemen. He did not elaborate.
Al Qaeda-linked militants have taken over parts of southern Yemen.
Speaking in Sana’a on Wednesday, Feltman said the US is sending an additional USD 36 million in humanitarian aid to Yemen this year to tackle poverty and other humanitarian issues in the impoverished country.
First Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012, 09:10