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U.S. to double security funding to Yemen, but no troops

RIA Novosti


WASHINGTON, January 10 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. is set to double its financial aid to Yemen, but has no intentions to send ground troops to the country where al Qaeda has become an increasing threat, CNN said on Sunday citing a high-ranking defense official.

The issue of security in Yemen has been high on the agenda since the failed bomb attack on a U.S.-bound plane on December, 25, 2009. The key suspect in the case admitted that he had undergone training at an al-Qaeda camp in Yemen.

"No, of course, we would always want a host nation to deal with a problem itself. We want to help. We're providing assistance," Gen. David Petraeus, who heads the U.S. Central Command, told CNN.

It was "quite clear that Yemen does not want to have American ground troops there. And that's a good — good response for us to hear, certainly," said Petraeus, who recently returned from his visit to the Arab state.

According to the official, the U.S. plans to increase its security assistance funding to Yemen from $70 million to over $150 million.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also dismissed the reports of possible U.S. military presence in Yemen on Saturday.

A 23-year-old Nigerian national, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a passenger on board an A330 passenger jet bound from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day, tried to blow up the plane that was carrying some 300 people. He was detained and charged with attempted terrorist attack.

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