Yemen unrest could aid Al-Qaeda: Gates

22nd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

The instability in Yemen could distract attention from the country's fight against Al-Qaeda, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday, calling the situation a concern.

"We are obviously concerned about instability in Yemen," Gates told reporters travelling with him on his trip to Moscow, where he was due to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev later in the day.

"Instability and diversion of attention from dealing with AQP (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) is certainly my primary concern about the situation," he said in reference to the network's branch in Yemen.

Asked if the Washington still supported Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was facing the threat of a military coup, Gates said he would not discuss "internal affairs in Yemen".

© 2011 AFP

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