By Nasser Arrabyee/05/10/2010
A senior US official said Tuesday that Al Qaeda terrorism is a real threat in Yemen.
“Terrorism is a real challenge and we support the government to combat it,” said William Burns, the US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, in a press conference at the end of his one-day visit to Yemen. The official in a Middle East visit which includes Iraq and Jordan in addition to Yemen, from October 4 to 8.
The US official said that Yemen needs more support for combating terror, and that the American military support focus mainly on improving the capabilities of the Yemeni security and military forces to do the job.
But he said the government should do political and economic reforms if it wants the support to continue.
“The more the Yemeni government works on combating corruption, and encouraging national dialogue and allowing civil society to participate, the more we mobilize efforts for more support,” he said.
During 2010, Yemen received about 300 million US dollars assistance more than of which went to the security and military equipments and training.
Mr. Burns met President Ali Abdullah Saleh and senior officials for discussing security and political development especially efforts of combating Al Qaeda and the national dialogue between the ruling party and oppositions parties.
Separately, Mr Burns met the leaders of the opposition coalition which includes the Islamists, Socialists, Nasserites and three other small parties.
The US official said his country supports free and fair elections in Yemen scheduled to be held on April 27th, 2011.
According to the official news agency Saba, President Saleh praised the distinguished bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries, and he expressed his appreciation of the
U.S. supportive position to Yemen's security, stability, and unity, development and democracy.