In an unannounced visit, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has personally pledged her nation’s support for Yemen’s efforts in combating Al-Qaida’s Yemeni affiliate.
Clinton met with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh during her visit to the Middle Eastern nation on Jan. 11, which was not disclosed due to security considerations.
“While many in this room work tirelessly to create economic opportunities, al-Qaida and other violent extremists scare away foreign investors and tourists and make it more difficult for Yemenis to work, study and travel abroad,” Voice of America quoted Clinton as saying in a town hall meeting of Yemeni students, civil society activists and politicians. “So I believe that your government’s efforts to disrupt al-Qaida’s operational planning, and to deny it safe-haven here in Yemen are profoundly in Yemen’s own interest.”
U.S. economic assistance to Yemen, which is nearly half of the donor country’s USD300 million aid program for the Middle Eastern nation in 2011, will help Yemen address diminishing oil resources and water shortage, Clinton said.