Obama condemns abusive film

Security restrictions on French embassy in Yemen

GMT 14:53 2012 Thursday ,20 September

Arab Today, arab today Security restrictions on French embassy in Yemen

Protesters climb a fence surrounding the US embassy in Sanaa
Sanaa- Ali Rabea

Protesters climb a fence surrounding the US embassy in Sanaa Security measures have been tightened around the French embassy in the Yemen's capital Sanaa on Wednesday after a French newspaper published cartoons mocking Prophet Mohammed. Large numbers of the Central Security Forces were seen grouping around the French embassy's headquarters, while anti-riot forces have blocked all the roads leading to the building.
A few days earlier, angry mobs stormed the US embassy in Sanaa in protest against a US-made short film which was considered to be insulting towards Prophet Mohammed.
In the same context, US President Barack Obama gave his Wednesday approval to the decisive procedures taken by President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi to ensure the safety of the US embassy and its personnel in Yemen.
This came in a letter delivered to President Hadi by the US ambassador to Yemen Gerald Feierstein, in which President Obama said: "The diplomatic facilities and personnel are the core of the partnership between Yemen and the United States."
"I wrote you to reiterate what I said in our latest phone conversation that we absolutely reject the awful film that abused Islam and the US values of freedoms of beliefs and peaceful coexistence, however there is never any justification for the violence against civilians," Obama said in his letter as reported by the Yemeni state-run news agency, SABA.
He valued the ongoing partnership between the two countries and stressed the United States would continue to support the Yemen government and people.
"I look forward to your visit to the US later this month," Obama wrote to Hadi.
During the meeting, President Hadi and Feierstein reviewed the last developments in the national arenas, topped by the steps exerted under the implementation of the Gulf initiative.
Earlier, The American ambassador affirmed that the incident of storming the US embassy last week would not affect Yemen-American relations but would contribute towards increasing the mutual cooperation between them.
In a press conference held Wednesday in Sanaa, Feierstein noted that the American administration expressed its denouncement over the film ridiculing Islam's Prophet Mohammad which provoked the feelings of Muslims all around the world.
"What happened in the US embassy is a very serious thing and reflected a security failure in protecting the embassy," he said.
He went further with saying: "The mission of the American mariners is confined to protect the embassy's staff and as soon as the security situation stabilizes this unit will immediately leave the country."
In response to a question about the functions of American experts at the air base of al-Aanad, the American envoy made it clear that the experts came to support the Yemeni government in its war against al-Qaeda and their mission is restricted in assisting the Yemen's forces within the framework of the two countries' partnership in fighting against terrorism.
He also expressed his optimism on the success of the Yemen Friends meeting scheduled to be held in the current month in New York to mobilise the international support in order to meet the Yemenis' needs.
Official reports stated on Friday that the United States sent marines to Yemen with the aim of protecting its embassy in Sanaa, affirming that about 100 marines arrived in Sanaa. Yemen's Interior Minister Abdul Qader Qahtan, stated that the violence acts on Thursday led to the killing of four protesters and wounding of 48 others including 10 soldiers, pointing out that 61 vehicles belonging to the embassy were burnt and 13 others were looted.
Meanwhile, Yemen's parliament on Saturday demanded the expulsion of the Pentagon Marines sent to the Yemeni capital Sanaa. It rejected any foreign military presence on Yemen's soil.
On Friday, the Pentagon said a force of marines had arrived in Sanaa to bolster security at the embassy after the attack.

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