Diplomats To Help Yemen Fight Terrorism Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top world officials are trying to figure out how to help a shaky government in Yemen that they suspect isn't fully committed to the battle against al-Qaida. They are gathering in London Wednesday for an international conference to hash out a plan.
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Diplomats To Help Yemen Fight Terrorism

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Diplomats To Help Yemen Fight Terrorism

Diplomats To Help Yemen Fight Terrorism

Diplomats To Help Yemen Fight Terrorism

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and top world officials are trying to figure out how to help a shaky government in Yemen that they suspect isn't fully committed to the battle against al-Qaida. They are gathering in London Wednesday for an international conference to hash out a plan.

ARI SHAPIRO, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro.

STEVE INSKEEP, Host:

Hi, Rob.

ROB GIFFORD: Morning, Steve.

INSKEEP: So why Yemen?

GIFFORD: So this conference is really to deal - address two things: security and development. Trying to deal with al-Qaida there, but also trying to aim to deal with economic and social and developmental issues which are fueling and feeding into the development of al-Qaida in this very, very poor Middle Eastern nation.

INSKEEP: Does that mean these diplomats will be trying, essentially, to raise more money to send to Yemen?

GIFFORD: The Yemeni prime minister, two deputy prime ministers and the foreign minister are all here. And I think this is about engaging with the Yemeni government and trying to help them and talk with them to deal with this problem themselves, but not just to throw money at it, which could actually cause more problems.

INSKEEP: Oh, because you've got a government here that even if money is offered, they don't seem to be organized enough to spend it in ways that are acceptable to the West. Is that what you're saying?

GIFFORD: And they just have not been able to deal with it, even though they've been offered the money. So this is all about coordinating that, but obviously, with the underlying issue of security concerns about al-Qaida there possibly training more bombers to come our way.

INSKEEP: Rob Gifford in London, are you hearing diplomats there describe Yemen, essentially, as - I don't want to say precisely the next Afghanistan, but the next failed state, in any case?

GIFFORD: And, of course, tomorrow everyone is talking about Afghanistan. So it's extremely topical. And what they're trying to do is get ahead of the curve here to engage with the Yemeni government so that it does not become the next Afghanistan.

INSKEEP: Rob, thanks very much.

GIFFORD: Thank you, Steve.

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