Situation in Yemen is of top concern: Clinton

Situation in Yemen is of top concern: Clinton

Hillary Clinton

"The situation in Yemen is a top concern," Clinton told reporters at Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department in a joint media availability with Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani.

Clinton said the situation in Yemen seems to be getting worse and worse with more players involved now.

"It's time for the international community to make it clear to Yemen that there are expectations and conditions on our continuing support for the government so that they can take actions which will have a better chance to provide that peace and stability to the people of Yemen and the region," the Secretary of State said.

Noting that the instability in Yemen is a threat to regional and even global stability, she said the US is working with Qatar and others to think of the best way forward to try to deal with the security concerns.

"We know that this is a difficult set of challenges, but they have to be addressed," she acknowledged.

Clinton said the US Embassy in Sanaa was closed for two days this week in response to ongoing threats by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula – so-called AQAP – that have been ongoing.

"They certainly predate this holiday season and they are aimed at American interests in Yemen," she said.

"On December 31, we sent what's called a warden message to American citizens in Yemen to remind them of the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against American citizens and interests," she said.

Commending Yemen for the recent actions it has taken to disrupt the AQAP networks, she said the US is committed to assist in those efforts.

"We review our security conditions constantly and will make a decision on reopening the Embassy when the security conditions permit," she added.

Clinton said the State Department is doing its own review of the December 25 terrorist attack. "We are conducting an internal review. The (US) President has called for a whole-of-government review. Based on what we know now, the State Department is fully complied with the requirements set forth in the interagency process as to what should be done when a threat is – or when information about a potential threat is known," she said.

"But we're looking to see whether those procedures need to be changed, upgraded. And that is my goal as Secretary– to do everything I can to make sure that not only American citizens, but all people travelling on airlines of any nationality can arrive at their destination safely," Clinton said.

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