Saleh: Yemen will continue hunt for al-Qaeda without leniency

Saba

SANA'A, March 27 (Saba) - President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said that Yemen's decision to hunt for al-Qaeda came early because the country believes that terrorism represents a danger to its security, stability and development. Al-Qaeda also poses a threat to Yemen's ties with its neighbors and friends, Saleh said in an interview with the PBS station. Yemen will continue to pursue al-Qaeda suspects until they surrender or they were killed, he said. However, the president said that the door remains open for those want peace and are determined to drop violence. 'We did not close the dialog door because dialog is crucial to deal with all problems. We don't want violence and when terrorist suspects surrender we should be cooperative,' said President Saleh. On the other hand, he said that there are no U.S. troops on the Yemeni soil because there are no reasons for their presence in the country. I want to assure the Yemeni people and the world that we never signed any deal allowing a U.S. presence in Yemen, Saleh told the station. Moreover, President Saleh said that all what has been said about corruption in Yemen is groundless and comes within the aggressive campaign against the Yemeni regime, Saleh said. If there are donors who gave aid that went into the pockets of officials, they just come out and speak, he said. In reply to the U.S. advice for Yemen, the president said that Yemen appreciates the U.S. cooperation and interest in resolving its problems, affirming Yemen further welcomes the U.S. in the country. On the U.S., he said Yemen-U.S. ties are deep rooted and the two countries have a good partnership in the fight on terror or to boost development. He also touched upon the issue of the Yemeni Gitmo detainees saying that the government is constantly contacting the U.S. authorities to speed their release. FR