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September 13, 2012 10:10 am

Obama Says Egypt Neither Ally nor Enemy as Riots Spread to Yemen

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Anti-American riots in Yemen. Photo: Screenshot.

As violent anti-American riots spread to Yemen on Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the U.S. “would not consider Egypt an ally, but we would not consider them an enemy.”

In his first interview since the murder of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens by a mob in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday night, as well as the violent protests outside the American Embassy in Egypt, Obama told the Spanish-language TV network¬†Telemundo: “We are going to have to see how they respond to this incident, how they respond to, for example, maintaining the peace treaty with Israel. So far, at least, what we’ve seen is, in some cases, that they’ve said the right things and taken the right steps; in others, how they’ve responded to various events may not be aligned with our interests, and so I think it’s still a work in progress.”

Protests continued outside the American Embassy in Cairo early Thursday morning. The violent protests spread to Yemen on Thursday, with hundreds of demonstrators storming the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa. Security guards tried to hold them off by firing into the air, witnesses said.

They said the demonstrators smashed windows of the security offices outside the embassy before breaking through the main gate of the heavily fortified compound in eastern Sanaa. Yemeni security forces who rushed to the scene fired in the air and used tear gas to disperse the demonstrators and were eventually able to drive them out of the compound.

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