London hosts Yemen meeting

By staff

David Miliband is chairing a meeting of the representatives of 21 states on the growing terrorist threat emanating from Yemen.

The foreign secretary’s meeting on international support follows the failed Detroit terrorist attack of Christmas Day 2009, which was linked to al-Qaida in Yemen.

The Middle Eastern state is emerging alongside Somalia as a second lawless area where weak governments are enabling al-Qaida to flourish, after the Afghan-Pakistani border.

Gordon Brown announced today’s meeting on new year’s day “to discuss the many serious economic, political and security problems which the people of Yemen face”.

“If not addressed, these problems threaten the stability of Yemen and the wider region,” he said.

Foreign ministers from key regional partners have been invited to the meeting, alongside representatives from the EU, UN, World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

The meeting will discuss the challenges facing Yemen and call for a comprehensive approach to its political and economic reform agenda.

Question-marks remain about the Yemeni government’s commitment to tackle the terrorist threat, however.

Last week a senior religious figure denounced the west’s interest in Yemen. His comments were not rebuffed by the government.