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Yemeni Dictator Says He Will Not Sign GCC Power-Transfer Plan If Qatar Attends

Yemen's president says he will not sign GCC power-transfer plan if Qatar attends

SANAA, April 28 (Xinhua) --

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Thursday he would not sign the power transfer plan brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) if Qatari representatives attend the signing ceremony.

"We will reserve the right of refusing to sign the GCC plan if Qatari representatives attend the signing ceremony because it has conspiracy against Yemen," Saleh told Russia Today's Arabic- language channel.

Saleh, who has faced street protests across the country since mid February, accused Qatar's pan-Arab satellite television channel Al Jazeera of provoking the differences and protests in the Yemeni streets.

Saleh and his ruling party as well as the opposition earlier announced official acceptance to the power-transfer GCC plan, which is set to be signed on Monday in Riyadh, according to officials from both sides.

The West-backed GCC plan stipulated that the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) should form a national unity government within seven days after signing the deal, President Ali Abdullah Saleh should leave office within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution, and the new government should arrange presidential and parliamentary elections in 60 days.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

Yemen ruling party, opposition to sign GCC power-transfer deal in Riyadh on Monday

SANAA, April 26 (Xinhua) --

Yemeni officials from the ruling party and opposition said Tuesday they will head for Riyadh next Monday to sign a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deal as the GCC secretary general just postponed it from Wednesday to next Monday.

The opposition spokesman Mohamed Qahtan told Xinhua that they were informed that GCC has put off the meeting till next Monday and they will send the representatives of the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) to Riyadh to sign the deal, under which President Ali Abdullah Saleh would leave office within 30 days after inking the deal.

Earlier, the ruling party spokesman Tariq al-Shami told Xinhua that they have received the invitation and will go to Saudi capital Riyadh to sign the GCC deal with the opposition.

Saleh's ruling General People's Congress party last week accepted the GCC deal in full, while the JMP sent their entire approval to GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani late on Monday.

The GCC plan stated that the opposition JMP to form a national unity government within seven days after signing the deal and then Saleh should leave office within 30 days in return of immunity from prosecution, the new government should arrange presidential and parliamentary elections in 60 days.

The anti-government slogans were echoed simultaneously on Tuesday by tens of thousands of protesters in the capital Sanaa and other major provinces of Al-Hodayda, Taiz, Ibb, Al-Bayda, Hadramout and Aden, according to witnesses.

Deadly clashes took place in southern province of Taiz, some 200 km south of Sana'a, where protester Mazin Abdullah was shot dead by snipers and 13 others were injured, a witness told Xinhua on Tuesday.

The clashes erupted after tens of thousands of protesters packed streets of Taiz to protest the opposition's full acceptance to the deal despite the repeated demand of immediate end to the 33- year rule of Saleh and prosecuting him and his aides, added the witness.

In the southern main port city of Aden, four protesters were shot injured when the police forces opened fire to attempt to put down the protest on Tuesday, a local police official told Xinhua.

In the Red Sea province of Al-Hodayda, at least eight protesters were wounded in clashes after the protesters marched through streets and shouted slogans against President Saleh, a local police official said Tuesday.

In capital Sana'a, tens of thousands of protesters continued on Tuesday their sit-in outside Sana'a University, repeating their rejection to the GCC plan, said witnesses.

President Saleh, who has faced three-month-long protests demanding an immediate end to his long-time rule, warned on Sunday to form a new government from his ruling party and his allies if the opposition hinders the GCC plan.

Editor: Mu Xuequan

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