Jamel Amer

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Blog   |   Yemen

Saleh uses security as cover to quash press freedom

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, left, and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband at last week's conference in London. (Reuters/Ben Stansal)Ministers and officials representing some 20 Western and Arab governments and international financial institutions declared themselves “friends of Yemen” during last week’s closed-door meeting in London to address threats posed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen, according to news reports. Participants, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, offered assurances that the international community, in addition to providing military cooperation, would work with the Yemeni government to promote human rights and build democratic institutions. But skeptics fear this publicized “friendship” will also provide an opportunity for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to intensify his attacks on political dissent and independent journalism.

February 1, 2010 1:54 PM ET

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