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Homeland Security

US Reopens Embassy in Yemeni Capital Sana'a

Edward Yeranian | Cairo 05 January 2010

The United States is re-opening its embassy in the Yemeni capital Sana'a, after a brief closure, saying Yemeni military action Monday addressed one of its security concerns.

The U.S. Embassy and the embassies of several European countries in the Yemeni capital Sana'a say they are reopening after a short closure, due to security threats.

The Yemeni government says it has sent thousands of troops to three separate provinces in its ongoing campaign against al-Qaida. The government reported Monday that it had killed two al-Qaida militants in a raid on one of their hideouts.

But Yemen Post newspaper Editor-in-Chief Hakim Almasmari told VOA local residents believe the two people killed in that raid had "no links with al-Qaida."

Almasmari believes that foreign powers want Yemen to crack down on al-Qaida and the embassy closures were a pressure tactic.

"As soon as the U.S. opened [its embassy], all of the [other embassies] opened again, the same way as they closed," he said. "I make out of it a political game to put more pressure on the Yemeni government to fight al-Qaida inside Yemen. The government has sent men out, almost 10,000 troops to Arhab, Jawf and Ma'arib, to increase the security in those areas."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said recently that fighting in Yemen was a threat to regional and global stability.

U.S. military commander General David Petraeus paid a surprise visit Saturday to Yemen, meeting with President Ali Abdallah Saleh to discuss the situation.

Yemeni government TV thanked Secretary Clinton for praising the government efforts in fighting al-Qaida.

The official Yemeni news agency SABA reported the interior ministry affirmed that all embassies, diplomatic missions and foreign companies are fully secured and that there is no cause for worry.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni parliament also debated a law to stop the flow of money to terror organizations and to hand over terror suspects to foreign governments in what appeared to be a further gesture to reassure the international community.

Yemen is battling Zaidi shi'ite rebels in the northern Sa'ada Province, in addition to a low-level separatist movement in the south of the country, which was once independent.

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