Facing Yemen's problems best way to defeat terror: Britain

22nd June 2010, Comments 0 comments

British minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said in Sanaa on Tuesday that tackling Yemen's economic and social challenges is the best way to defeat terrorism in the poor Arab nation.

"Working together to address (the economic and social challenges that Yemen faces) is the best way to defeat terrorism within Yemen's borders," Burt said after meeting Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, during his first tour of the region since his appointment.

Burt's two-day visit "demonstrates the UK's continued commitment to working with Yemen," the British foreign office said in a statement.

Yemen's official news agency Saba said Saleh welcomed Britain's investments in Yemen and its support in the fields of development and democracy.

At an international donors' meeting in Abu Dhabi in March, Yemeni officials told delegates the country urgently needed to receive their pledged financial aid to combat poverty and unemployment.

The meeting was planned at a January conference in London to help Yemen combat the Al-Qaeda network which has been regrouping there.

On April 26, Britain's envoy to Yemen, Timothy Torlot, narrowly escaped a bomb triggered by a suicide attacker who hurled himself at the ambassador's convoy in a Sanaa street.

Last month, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack that prompted the British embassy in Sanaa to close for nearly two weeks.

The Yemen-based Al-Qaeda affiliate also claimed the botched December 24 attempt to blow up a US passenger plane.

As well as the resurgence of Al-Qaeda, Yemen is in the grip of an economic crisis and a secessionist movement in the south.

© 2010 AFP

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