Yemen Willing to Send Iraq Troops if Coalition Leaves

Published July 03, 2004

| Associated Press

A senior Yemeni government official on Saturday clarified Yemen's offer to send peacekeeping soldiers to Iraq, saying such a move would only come after U.S.-led coalition forces have left the country, a news report said.

"Yemen is willing to participate in an international peacekeeping force ... after the coalition troops withdraw and Iraq regains its full sovereignty, and if the brothers in Iraq ask us to," the unnamed official told the Saba news agency.

On Friday, the Foreign Ministry said Yemen (search) was willing to send peacekeepers to Iraq, but only if they were part of a U.N.-controlled force. It said nothing about coalition troops staying or not.

About 160,000 foreign troops, mostly American, have stayed on after Monday's handover of sovereignty to the new interim government in Iraq.

The foreign troops operate under a U.N. Security Council (search) resolution that gives them responsibility for security. Though deployed under a U.N. mandate, they operate as a coalition led by U.S. commanders.

On Thursday, Jordan's King Abdullah II said his country might become the first Arab state to send troops to Iraq, if that country asked for help.

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http://www.foxnews.com/story/2004/07/03/yemen-willing-to-send-iraq-troops-if-coalition-leaves