Obama's drone speech welcomed in Pakistan, Yemen

ISLAMABAD (AP) - President Barack Obama's speech on the use of drones to kill Islamic militants was well-received in two countries most affected by the strikes - Pakistan and Yemen - but criticism of the US policy remains strong.

Mr Obama cast the drone programme as crucial to US counterterrorism efforts, though he announced more restrictive rules governing the attacks.

His advisers said these would effectively limit future use of drones.

Pakistani officials and analysts said Friday that Mr Obama addressed some of Islamabad's concerns, which could help improve relations.

But Pakistan still demands the strikes end entirely, saying they violate Pakistan's sovereignty.

A Yemeni intelligence official says drone strikes are effective against Al-Qaeda and have thwarted plans to kidnap diplomats and foreigners.

The official spoke anonymously because he wasn't authorized to talk to media.