Britain warns of 'massive dangers' if Yemen collapses
Britain on Friday warned at the United Nations of "massive dangers" to world security if Yemen becomes a failed state.
"The underpinning issue (of help to Yemen) is the protection of the stability of the state overall and let's be honest: there are massive dangers to the country, the region and the wider world if ever Yemen becomes failed state," Alan Duncan, Britain's international development minister, said.
Duncan, who described "a very potent cocktail for danger," was speaking at a donors' meeting at UN headquarters in New York.
The Arabian Peninsula country is suffering growing security and economic strains and faces a rising Al-Qaeda presence.
According to the UN refugee agency, at least 4,000 civilians have fled fighting between government forces and militants in southern Yemen since last weekend.
The donors' group Friends of Yemen said in a statement that it supported internal Yemeni attempts to resolve political tensions and promised to "provide additional support for social protection" to shield the country's poor from the side-effects of painful economic reforms.
© 2010 AFP