a country located on the Arabian Peninsula in Southwest Asia. It has an estimated population of more than 23 million people and is bordered by Saudi Arabia to the north, the Red Sea to the west, the Arabian Sea and Gulf of Aden to the south, and Oman to the east.
The Persian Gulf crisis dramatically affected Yemen's foreign relations. As a member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 1990 and 1991, Yemen abstained on a number of UNSC resolutions concerning Iraq and Kuwait and voted against the "use of force resolution." Western and Persian Gulf Arab states reacted by curtailing or canceling aid programs and diplomatic contacts. At least 850,000 Yemenis were expelled from Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf. Saudi Arabia has begun construction of a separation barrier between its territory and Yemen to prevent the unauthorized movement of people and goods into and out of the kingdom. Subsequent to the liberation of Kuwait, Yemen continued to maintain high-level contacts with Iraq.
*Some news reports have suggested that, on orders from President Barack Obama, US warplanes fired cruise missiles at what officials in Washington claimed were AlQaeda training camps in the provinces of Sana’a and Abyan on December 17, 2009. Other reports suggest that the airstrikes were carried out by Yemeni Mig-29 aircraft, probably helped by US intelligence, or that cruise missiles were launched from warships offshore. Officials in Yemen said that the attacks claimed the lives of more than 60 civilians, 28 of them children. Another airstrike was carried out on December 24.
On January 3, 2010 the US and British embassies in Yemen closed for security reasons after the failed plot to bomb a plane in Detroit Mi and after reports of eight individuals planning an attack on the embassy itself. One was arrested with a suicide vest, while three others were killed. Four remain at large as of January 4, 2010.*
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