The Yemen government says they oppose any direct intervention by the United States in helping to fight al Qaeda.
United States military personnel are currently in Yemen training counterterrorism forces, but not directly involved in combat missions.
Yemen's Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi welcomes the training, but said the U.S. cannot be involved in any other capacity. He stressed that Yemeni forces would remain under Yemen command, without any combined efforts with the Americans.
His comments came as Yemeni security forces carried out a hunt for Mohammed Ahmed al-Hanaq, the suspected leader of an al Qaeda cell believed to be plotting an attack on the U.S. embassy and other consulates in Yemen.
The U.S. recently increased its counterterrorism aid to Yemen in hopes of stopping the country's growing al Qaeda threat.
While Yemen has welcomed the help of the U.S., Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is cautious about giving up too much authority or appearing to be a tool of Washington.