Sunday, February 19, 2012
Yemen's sole presidential candidate who will be voted in this week is committed to "destroying" Al Qaeda, US Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan said on Sunday in Sanaa.
Brennan who met on Saturday in Sanaa with Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi -- the sole consensus candidate in Tuesday's polls - said he was "very encouraged by (Hadi's) comments" on Al Qaeda.
"He is committed as well to destroy Al Qaeda and I consider him a good and strong counterpart," Brennan told reporters.
State news agency Saba meanwhile quoted Hadi as saying that "the terrorist Al Qaeda organisation must be fought and its presence in the Arabian Peninsula must be put to an end."
"This needs a meaningful international cooperation," said Hadi.
Hadi's comments came after a meeting with Baroness Emma Nicholson, a member of the British House of Lords, who is visiting Sanaa ahead of Tuesday’s presidential election, Saba said.
Yemenis will hold referendum-like presidential polls on Tuesday in which President Ali Abdullah Saleh will officially hand power over to Hadi, under a Gulf-brokered power transfer plan signed by the outgoing leader in November.
"There are some individuals in Yemen who have exploited Al-Qaeda's presence for their own interests," said Brennan. "We find it outrageous for any members of the Yemeni government or the Yemeni global system to do so."
"In my previous visit I had spoken directly to Yemeni officials about the need to do more against Al Qaeda, and to dry up their sources of support."
When asked about the US role in fighting Al Qaeda in Yemen, Brennan said: "We provide to the Yemeni units that fight Al-Qaeda advice, assistance and equipment."