Yemen seeks Canadian support against al-Qaeda

Yemen's foreign minister asks for support from Canada as the Middle Eastern country struggles against al-Qaeda elements within its borders.

Yemen's foreign minister was in Ottawa on Monday seeking support from the government of Canada as the Middle Eastern country struggles with al-Qaeda elements within its borders.

The Yemeni minister, Abubakar al-Qirbi, is making the rounds ahead of a major conference on Yemen in London next week, when Yemen is expected to ask for development aid.

Al-Qirbi said at a news conference with Minister of Foreign Affairs Lawrence Cannon that he hopes the London conference will be a "landmark" moment in how Western countries approach Yemen's issues. He said Yemen is seeking support for logistics and training as it deals with "radicalization" and extremists in the country.

Yemen has been a focus of the West since Christmas Day, when 23-year-old Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is alleged to have tried to blow up a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a wing of al-Qaeda that operates in Yemen and Saudi Arabia, claimed responsibility for the bombing attempt, and said it was in retaliation for U.S. attacks in Yemen. The group said Abdulmutallab co-ordinated with its members and used explosives they had produced.

Cannon said the Canadian government is concerned about recent events that threaten Yemen's stability, and he and al-Qirbi discussed ways that Canada could help.