“Yemen insisted yesterday that it could handle its own mounting security challenges without any direct foreign intervention, pointedly warning Washington to learn the lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan. While welcoming US intelligence and technological co-operation, the Deputy Prime Minister for Defence and Security, Rashad al-Alimi, told a crowded news conference in the capital, Sana’a, that the government did not want foreign troops on its soil. That message was reinforced by Foreign Minister Abukar al-Qirbi, who told CNN that fighting militants was ‘the priority and the responsibility of our security forces and the army’. On the possibility of direct US military intervention, he said: ‘No, I don’t think we will accept that. I think the US as well have learned from Afghanistan and Iraq and other places that direct intervention can be self-defeating.’ Yemen has found itself the focus of sharply increased international concern after responsibility for Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab’s failed Christmas Day bombing was claimed by al-Qa’ida’s resurgent Arabian Peninsula wing, which is now based in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world.”
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