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Yemen President Saleh signs deal to transfer power

11-24-2011 08:33 BJT Special Report:Yemen’s Saleh Signs Power Transfer Deal |

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Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh has finally signed a power transfer deal after months of protests calling for his resignation. After backing out at least three times, Saleh formalised the agreement in Saudi Arabia. Under the accord, the president will hand over power to his deputy and resign within 30 days. In return, he will be granted immunity from prosecution.

Sitting beside the Saudi King, Saleh signed away his 33-year rule.

The Gulf-brokered deal, backed by the US, means he is to transfer his power within 30 days to his deputy, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

This will be followed by presidential elections within three months.



Saudi King Abdullah (R) meets with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh at the Royal Palace in Riyadh November 23, 2011. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a Gulf initiative on Wednesday to hand over power to his deputy as part of a proposal to end months of protests that have pushed the Arab country to the brink of civil war.

Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemeni President, said, "We welcome the sharing of power with our brothers in the opposition to rule the country, and to rebuild what the crisis has damaged. The signing is not important, what is important is the good intention and the steering of serious work towards a real sharing to rebuild what the crisis has damaged."

Back in Yemen, the country’s United Nations envoy welcomed the news.

Jamal Benomar, UN Envoy to Yemen, said, "The agreement is set to be an important step for the Yemeni people to solve the political crisis in their country, and for the transition towards a better future. I would like to stress here the role that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh played to make this transition process possible, and the role the Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and the National Council played as well."

A handout picture from the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA)
shows Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signing a Gulf
Cooperation Council-sponsored transition deal to exit
power in Riyadh.

According to UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, Saleh will now go to New York for a medical check up.

Despite the nine months of protests calling for his ouster, Saleh managed to cling to power. But it’s unlikely he will return to Yemen anytime soon.

Though the demonstrations have led to his fall, they have also caused a security collapse. Now armed tribesmen are battling security forces in different regions and al-Qaeda-linked militants are believed to be stepping up operations in the country’s restive south.

As a strategically important nation, particularly to the US and Saudi Arabia, it’s imperative to get its 25-million-strong population onto a better track sooner rather than later.

Saudi King Abdullah (L) greets Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh at the Royal
Palace in Riyadh November 23, 2011

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