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US to provide more assistance to Yemen to fight al Qaeda

Last Updated: Friday, January 22, 2010 - 13:50

Washington: Identifying al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula as a common enemy, the US on Friday said it would provide more security and development aid to Yemen to combat the growing threat from the terror network, but asked the country to show results for uninterrupted flow of assistance.
"This is a conflict that has ramifications beyond the borders of Yemen, but it must be solved within the borders of Yemen," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at a joint press conference with her Yemeni counterpart Abubakr al-Qirbi.

Describing their discussion here as a very open and productive conversation about a number of important issues, she said: "Our two nations are working together as partners to improve Yemen`s capacity to deliver vital services, control its borders, conduct effective counter-terrorist activities."

Noting the two countries face a common threat from violent extremists, Hillary said al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula has killed dozens of Yemenis in recent years, including 7 soldiers who died guarding the US embassy in a suicide bombing in 2008.

"We have seen al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula kill tourists in Yemen, Yemeni security officers, and being involved in the training and equipping of the perpetrator of the attempted Christmas Day (US) airline bombing," she said.

"Now, to combat this growing threat, the United States will intensify its cooperation with Yemen on both security and development. We will work with other partners and like-minded countries. Yemen has demonstrated willingness and a capacity to take action against al Qaeda and other extremist groups, and the United States commends these actions."

"We also discussed how we could deal more effectively with the internal stresses inside Yemen. These are matters for Yemen to resolve through dialogue and political cooperation, but we along with others will stand ready to assist. We will gather in London next week to discuss these efforts at a conference called for this occasion," Hillary said.

The Yemeni Foreign Minister said his country has stressed on a number of issues, including its commitment to continue the fight against terrorism and radicalisation. "... our fight against terrorism has an important component to it, which is now clearly understood, and that is the development," he said.

"And Yemen, in its development programme over the last few years, had undertaken rather courageous decisions on reforms. And the lack of achievement is due to the fact that Yemen did not have the resources to implement these reforms."

Hillary said Yemen has a very active and effective commitment to combat the radical extremists, particularly al Qaeda, in Arabian Peninsula. "That is, from our perspective, a very positive sign that we are building on."

"President (Ali Abdulla) Salih has a 10-point economic plan, and we have made clear that we have expectations and we have the right to work with the Government of Yemen as we do provide development because we want it to go for the benefit of the people of Yemen.”

"We want to see results on the ground. We`re seeing results in the counter-terrorism efforts and we want to see similar results when it comes to development," Hillary said.


First Published: Friday, January 22, 2010 - 13:50

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