US-Saudi security cooperation `very strong`: Napolitano

Last Updated: Monday, May 31, 2010 - 20:30

Jeddah: US Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano said on Monday the US and Saudi Arabia were
cooperating closely on security, and both shared a deep
concern about Yemeni militant activities.

"We all share a concern about terrorist activity
emanating from Yemen. Actions of the US in Yemen are with the
consent (and) cooperation of the government of Yemen,"
Napolitano said after meetings with King Abdullah and
other top Saudi officials.

She told journalists Washington was helping Saudi
Arabia develop security along the rugged, porous Saudi-Yemen
border, across which militants smuggle weapons and operatives
into Saudi Arabia.

"It is a very rough border... very difficult to
protect from illegal crossings... so many of our discussions
were about how to protect a very tough, geological,
topographical border from illegal crossings," she said.

Yemen is the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden
and the home base of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP),
which has claimed responsibility for a failed Christmas
airliner bomb plot over Detroit in the United States.

"The security coordination is very strong with
Saudi Arabia," Napolitano said, adding the two sides discussed
at length programmes to counter the Islamic radicalisation
that feeds al Qaeda, as well as efforts to prevent militant
attacks.

Saudi Arabia`s extensive operations to halt
radicalisation are "of great interest to the US," she said,
adding Washington and Sanaa are also closely cooperating in
fighting Islamic militants in Yemen.

PTI



First Published: Monday, May 31, 2010 - 20:30

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