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Obama welcomes signing of power transfer deal in Yemen

11-24-2011 08:43 BJT Special Report:Yemen’s Saleh Signs Power Transfer Deal |

WASHINGTON, Nov. 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday welcomed the signing of Yemen's power transfer deal which was brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, urging all parties to immediately implement the terms of the agreement.

"I welcome today's action by the Yemeni government and the opposition to sign a political agreement brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council to form a government of national unity within 14 days and hold early presidential elections within 90 days," Obama said in a statement released by the White House.

He said that Washington, "in particular", welcomed Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's decision to transfer powers immediately to the vice president, hailing it as "an important step forward."

Saleh signed a Gulf-brokered power transfer deal in Saudi Arabia's capital Riyadh on Wednesday after backing out of doing so for at least three times. Under the deal, Saleh would resign and hand over power to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution. Hadi would then form an opposition-led national government and arrange presidential elections in 60 days.

"Today's agreement brings them a significant step closer to realizing their aspirations for a new beginning in Yemen," said Obama.

He urged all parties to "move immediately to implement the terms of the agreement," reaffirming U.S. support to the Yemeni people as they embark on "this historic transition."

Earlier the day, State Department spokesman Mark Toner had applauded the power transfer deal reached between the Yemeni government and the opposition, calling for its swift implementation.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that Saleh has told him he would travel to New York for medical treatment after signing the power transfer deal.

Yemen was plunged into turmoil in late Jan. this year when anti- government protests broke out, calling for an end to Saleh's 33- year rule.

Editor:Zhang Hao |Source: Xinhua

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