Yemenite President Ali Abdullah Saleh attempted to downplay the role of weapons dealers in Yemen and insisted on meeting then-president George W. Bush in person, according to a leaked US diplomatic cable from 2004.
The cable, released by Wikileaks on Thursday, describes Saleh as claiming that Hadi Dulqum, a weapons dealer wanted by Saudi
Arabia was a "simple arms dealer," while the US government agreed with
the Saudis, saying that "Dulqum's connections with al-Qaida are too
extensive for him to be simply another Yemeni arms dealer."
Saleh also said that there are important regional matters that he must discuss "face to face" with Bush.