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Obama hails Yemen as model for peace in Syria and Iraq

June 20, 2014 at 10:30 am

US President Barack Obama said his administration was looking to build a Yemeni model to be part of the solution in Syria and Iraq, pointing out the United States was able to develop the capacities of Yemen in the fight against terrorism “without sending large numbers of US troops to the Yemeni territories”.

The president’s remarks came on the side-lines of a press conference held last night in Washington to discuss the situation in Syria and Iraq. The president’s remarks hinted to the US forces’ presence in Yemen, which the Yemeni authorities have reservations about.

Yemen’s state news agency, SABA said this morning that the US president praised the partnership between the Washington and the Sanaa in the fight against terrorism.

The US president said: “You look at a country like Yemen – a very impoverished country and one that has its own sectarian or ethnic divisions – there, we do have a committed partner in President Hadi and his government. And we have been able to help to develop their capacities without putting large numbers of US troops on the ground at the same time as we’ve got enough CT, or counterterrorism capabilities that we’re able to go after folks that might try to hit our embassy or might be trying to export terrorism into Europe or the United States.”

Obama described the existing partnership between Washington and Yemen in the fight against terrorism as “ideal” and said “we are looking at establishing a similar model to be part of the solution in Syria and Iraq, but if we want to do this, we need actual governments on the ground that we can partner with and that we’ve got some confidence are going to pursue the political policies of inclusiveness.”

According to Yemeni security sources US drones bombed Al-Qaeda sites in parts of the country which refused to recognise the state authorities.

Obama said that the US is ready to strike armed groups in Iraq, but ruled out sending troops to the country, which faces a deteriorating security situation after gunmen took control of several cities in the north and east.