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article imageYemen President against West counterterrorism operations in Sanaa

By Andrew Moran     Nov 1, 2010 in World
Sanaa - Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivered a press conference over the weekend where he announced that he was against foreign forces performing counterterrorism operations against al-Qaeda in his country.
United States President Barack Obama thanked British and Saudi leaders on Saturday in the assistance of not allowing the explosive packages from reaching the country and wreaking havoc. However, according to the Agence-France Presse, Obama urged for more cooperation from the Yemeni government.
On late Saturday, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh held a press conference where he discussed the failed bombing incident, al-Qaeda and possible Western interference in the internal affairs of the country.
President Saleh said he is completely against foreign powers running counterterrorism operations in Yemen, reports the Hindu. He did note, though, that Yemen will still continue to be involved in the war on terror – or the overseas contingency operations.
“We guarantee the determination of Yemen in confronting and combating terrorism,” said the Yemeni leader.
The following day, Yemen Information Minister, Hassan al Lawzi, explained that the country is doing all it can in its counterterrorism efforts and is determined to capture al-Qaeda operatives. Al Lawzi added that Yemen is first run by “national security perceptions” and then “regional and international considerations.”
“There are unfortunately different and exaggerating reports on the issue [which are] serving al-Qaeda and at the same time harming counterterrorism efforts,” said the Information Minister.
Nevertheless, the U.S. government will continue to send hundreds of millions of dollars in aid, weapons and military training. After the failed Christmas Day bombing attempt, Senator Joe Lieberman called Yemen “the war of tomorrow.” Meanwhile, Senator Carl Levin wants “clandestine action” and unmanned aerial drones in Yemen.
A report released in Dec. 2009 shows that the U.S. and CIA began covert operations in Yemen in 2008.
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