Yemen Eyes al-Qaeda Deal

President Saleh Calls on Fighters to Disarm

Faced with an unwelcome level of attention in its newfound war against al-Qaeda, the Yemeni government is now taking the virtually unprecedented step of suggesting they would be willing to come to some sort of deal with the international terror organization.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh

The only conditions, according to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, is that the members of the group lay down their weapons and formally renounce violence. So far there has been no response from the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula faction.

Though some suggest that President Saleh is looking to parlay the al-Qaeda conflict into increased US aid, with the nation already struggling with two other civil wars there seems to be concern with losing the perception of control and with the possibility of an American invasion.

It seems unlikely that the offer of a deal will be met with good cheer by the US, however. In April US officials condemned Pakistan for a peace deal with the Tehreek-e Nifaz-e Shariat-e Muhammadi (TNSM) in the Swat Valley, even though the group had never attacked US targets, simply on the principle that the US considered them militants. Al-Qaeda’s high profile name, coupled with links to the failed Detroit lap bomber, will make such a deal, assuming anything ever comes from it, controversial.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.