The Obama Administration on Saturday said international cooperation is critical to defeat al-Qaeda, be it in the Af—Pak region, the Arabian Peninsula or any other part of the world.

“As you have seen in this first year in office, that the President (Barack) Obama understands fully his solemn responsibility to the American people to defend the homeland, to defend American interests,” Mike Hammer, spokesman, National Security Council, White House said.

“As part of that effort, he believes that international cooperation is critical as we move forward in eliminating the threats of Al-Qaeda, of Al-Qaeda Arabian Peninsula, wherever it might surface,” Mr. Hammer said.

“I think, what you have seen is of course, a stepping up in an effort in Afghanistan with the deployment of additional troops and working with the Afghan Government to confront Al-Qaeda and it’s extremist allies in that region,” he said.

“What you have seen in Pakistan as well in the past year is a deepening of that partnership. (Defence) Secretary (Robert) Gates was just in Pakistan talking to the Pakistani Government about those issues, in terms of how to go after extremists that threaten Pakistan as well as the United States. You’ve seen actions taken in conjunction with the Government of Yemen,” Mr. Hammer said.

Noting that it is important for the United States, working with all these other countries, to go after aggressively against those who want to do the US and its allies, Mr. Hammer said the Administration is concerned about the situation Somalia.

“But also, as you point out whether it’s the Maghreb or the Sahel region in Northern Africa, that the -- these terrorist elements are always looking to adapt, given that they’re under pressure in the area that is their potentially -- you would refer to as their headquarters in the Afghan-Pakistan border region,” he said.

“I think that the more pressure we put on them there, the more that they will look elsewhere to try and establish themselves. That is why we believe it is very important that we be cooperating with countries all around the globe, but particularly in the areas that I’ve just mentioned, to prevent their ability to establish themselves in those countries,” he said.

“That is something we don’t want to work on and I think that we have a very open and robust ally with a number of countries in North Africa precisely on this issue,” he said.

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