Arriving today on an unannounced visit to Yemen, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed the Saleh government for “tougher military action” against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
At the same time, Clinton insisted the Obama Administration’s partnership with the Saleh government “goes beyond counterterrorism” and pledged long term support for the “strategic partnership” between he two nations.
She did, however, express “concerns” about the recent moves by parliament toward backing an amendment which would enable Saleh to “re-elect himself” and serve an unlimited number of terms in office, but said the US would support whatever electoral “reforms” the government decided on.
The US has been making much of the threat posed by AQAP, insisting the group is a bigger threat than the al-Qaeda parent organization. Yemeni officials, by contrast, have downplayed the seriousness of AQAP’s threat, and seem more interested in moving against separatist movements.