Sanaa, Asharq Al-Awsat – Well-informed Yemeni sources have told Asharq Al-Awsat that the London Conference on Yemen due to be held later this month will tackle five thorny issues: terrorism and Al Qaeda’s increasing activity, the southern movement, the war against the Houthis, the political crisis between the government and the opposition, and the economy.
The sources also stated that Britain, the US and some Gulf states intend to discuss finding radical solutions to these problems, and in particular Iranian interference in Yemen’s affairs.
On Thursday, Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister for Defense and Security Affairs Major General Dr. Rashad al Alami said that Omar Farouk Abdulmuttalib, the young Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a U.S. passenger plane on Christmas day, had met with several prominent Al Qaeda elements in Yemen including Anwar al Awlaki.
The Yemeni Deputy Prime Minister said that he expected that around 20 individuals on the Saudi most wanted list are likely to be in Yemen. However he denied any US military presence on Yemeni soil.
The US Department of Defense maintained that it fully respects the sovereignty of Yemen and that the US army mainly focuses on providing intelligence and training.