Bush Calls Yemeni President
Feb. 11, 2002
WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Bush spoke by phone with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday to review progress in the U.S.-led war on terrorism.
Bush ``expressed appreciation for the Saleh government's recent efforts to deny terrorists use of Yemeni territory. The two agreed on the need for a sustained effort and continued cooperation in the fight against the terrorists,'' said Ari Fleischer, the president's press secretary.
Washington has been pushing Yemen for greater cooperation on anti-terrorism since the October 2000 suicide bombing of the USS Cole in a Yemeni port that killed 17 sailors.
The United States blames Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network for that attack and the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Bush's call followed a visit Monday to Yemen by Gen. Tommy Franks, head of the U.S. military's Central Command. Franks told reporters there that the United States does not expect to deploy combat troops in Yemen but will cooperate with the government in providing training and some assistance.