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U.S. asks major increase in military aid for Yemen

Wednesday, February 5, 2003

U.S. INCREASES MILITARY AID TO YEMEN The United States plans to significantly increase military aid to Yemen.

The Bush administration has asked for a huge increase in military aid to Yemen over the next year. The aid is meant to train and equip Yemen's navy, coast guard and special operations forces.

The State Department provided figures for its military aid request for Sanaa in fiscal years 2003 and 2004. The figures also included a supplemental budget provided to Yemen over the last year.

The department said Yemen received $20 million in supplemental military aid in fiscal 2002. The administration has requested that Congress approve a $2 million military aid package for Yemen in fiscal 2003 and $15 million in 2004.

"Yemen has not been an easy partner," an official said. "But it is an important country in our fight against Al Qaida."

Officials said the military aid would be used for the supply of naval vessels to help form Yemen's coast guard. The United States also plans to supply command and control systems as well as counter-insurgency equipment to Yemen's special operation forces.

The Bush administration plans to increase U.S. military aid from about $4 billion in fiscal 2002 to $4.4 billion in 2004. The tentative figure reported for fiscal 2003 is $4.107 billion.

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