'Global aid, coordination critical for Yemen'
Washington: International partners including India, China, Russia and Britain have pledged aid to Yemen, and close coordination with these countries will be critical in the years ahead, a top White House official on counter terrorism said.
"International partners - including the UK, Germany, China, Russia, India, the EU, and the UAE - have pledged aid. Saudi Arabia offered USD 3.25 billion, on top of the significant fuel grants it gave Yemen to offset the losses caused by attacks on oil infrastructure," said John Brennan, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter terrorism, yesterday.
"As such, close coordination with our international partners will be critical in the years ahead," Brennan said in his address to the Council on Foreign Relations.
"And for good reason. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is al Qaeda's most active affiliate," he said.
Brennan said Yemen continues to face extraordinary challenges.
"Violence remains a tragic reality for many Yemenis. We saw this again in last week's clashes at the Ministry of Interior in Sana'a and in the outrageous suicide attack in Ja'ar on Saturday that killed several dozen innocent Yemenis," he said.
Yemen remains one of the poorest countries on earth, and conditions have only been compounded by last year's upheaval, he added.
The United States has been - and will remain - a strong and active supporter of the political transition in Yemen, he said.
"Going forward, we'll continue to push for the timely, effective, and full implementation of the GCC Agreement.”
"During this delicate transition, we call on all Yemenis to show that they will put country's national interests ahead of parochial concerns, and abide by the letter and spirit of the GCC Agreement so that Yemen can move toward a more inclusive democracy," Brennan said.
Yemen, he argued, cannot succeed - politically, economically, socially - so long as the cancerous growth that is AQAP remains.
"So long as AQAP seeks to implement its murderous agenda, we will be a close partner with Yemen in meeting this common threat.”
"And just as our approach to Yemen is multi-dimensional, our counter terrorism approach involves many different tools - diplomatic, intelligence, military, homeland security, law enforcement, and justice," the White House official said.