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Yemen, US Sign Military Cooperation Deal

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Yemen's official news agency says the country has signed a military cooperation deal with the United States, as Yemen battles a growing Shi'ite rebellion in the north.

Saba news agency reports the military and security cooperation agreement was signed Tuesday in the capital, Sanaa, after two days of talks.

U.S. officials did not immediately confirm that report.

Yemen has accused religious institutions in Iran of funding and backing Shi'ite rebels in northern Yemen who have been fighting since 2004 against what they say is oppression by the Yemeni government. Last month, Yemen said it had seized an Iranian ship carrying weapons to the Houthi rebels.

Saba reported Wednesday that Yemen again rejected outside interference in its internal affairs.

The comments, from an unnamed source in the foreign ministry, were in response to Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki's remarks Tuesday denying that Tehran supports the rebels in Yemen.

Mottaki told a news conference that Iran seeks a role in establishing peace and stability in the region and therefore cannot be involved in creating tensions.

Saudi Arabia recently began an offensive against the Houthis along its border with Yemen and vowed Tuesday to continue attacking them.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.