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Yemenis Continue Demanding Departure of Saleh, White House Urges the Dictator to Agree on Transition

 May 19, 2011

Yemenis urge end to Saleh's support

Press TV, Fri May 20, 2011 10:24AM



Anti-regime protesters in Yemen have called on Saudi Arabia and its (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) allies to stop supporting President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

People hold their long-time ruler responsible for the brutal killing of hundreds of pro-democracy demonstrators.

I don't think these initiatives would be effective. All the agreements by the [P]GCC from the first to the last one have been in favor of Saleh. Now we are in [a] crucial moment, the [P]GCC governments should choose between the people of Yemen and Saleh. There is no other choice, one protester told Press TV on Friday.

We expect the [P]GCC member states to abandon [their offer]. We will stand our ground. We believe that we will drag him out of his palace, another protester said.

We want the [P]GCC states and the whole world to stop supporting the criminal Saleh... we want you to support the revolution, which is in the best interest of Yemen," a protester said.

A coalition of the [P]GCC countries tried to mediate a deal for Saleh to leave power in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Saleh who has been in power since 1978, has repeatedly said that he will stay in power until the end of his term. His current term ends in 2013.


Protests continue in Yemeni cities

Press TV, Thu May 19, 2011 11:13PM

Yemeni protesters (file photo) Anti-regime protesters have taken to the streets across Yemen, demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster and trial for crimes he has committed.

Demonstrators from all walks of life were out in force in the capital Sana'a, Hudaydah, Ibb and several other major cities.

As Yemenis continue a campaign of civil disobedience, an amateur video has emerged showing angry protesters in the western province of Hudaydah and the southern province of Ibb, calling for the ouster of Saleh after more than three decades in power, the Associated Press reported late Thursday.

The new footage showed students, holding banners, are protesting in front of the closed university building in Hudaydah. Shops, schools and government offices were also shuttered.

Thousands of demonstrators in Ibb have been seen marching through the streets, chanting and holding banners, the report said.

Clashes between demonstrators and regime forces erupted in Hudaydah after security forces attacked the protesters, leaving at least four people injured, witnesses said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Saleh said that the embattled president has agreed to sign the transitional deal put forward by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council on Sunday.

The move was an unexpected reversal just a day after last-minute snags appeared to derail the deal for the second time.

The deal requires Saleh to resign within a month but grant him immunity from prosecution.

The opposition say they hope that if Saleh signs the deal, it would end the three months of protests that have paralyzed Yemen's already faltering economy. But they are also skeptical about Saleh keeping his promise.


White House official urges Yemeni president to sign agreement for transition

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2011 (Xinhua) --

 A top White House official on Wednesday urged Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign and implement a Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered agreement for the country to "move forward immediately with its political transition. "

John Brennan, President Barack Obama's top advisor on homeland security and counterterrorism, called Saleh and noted that the transfer of power "represents the best path forward for Yemen to become a more secure, unified and prosperous nation and for the Yemeni people to realize their aspirations for peace and political reform," the White House said.

It said that Brennan affirmed the commitment of the United States to "stand with the Yemeni government and people as they implement this historic agreement, foster economic development, and combat the security threat from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)."

Brennan also called on all parties in Yemen to "refrain from violence and proceed with the transition in a peaceful and orderly manner," the White House said.

Gulf Cooperation Council chief Abdulatif al-Zayani left Yemen's capital of Sanaa on Wednesday after his five-day visit failed again to secure a peaceful power-transition agreement between Saleh and the opposition.

The deal, pressed by Western and Gulf mediators, would have secured Saleh's agreement to leave office within 30 days after signing the document in exchange for immunity from prosecution, thus paving the way for a new government to be formed by the opposition within seven days, which in turn should arrange presidential and parliamentary elections within 60 days.

Saleh, who has been facing growing calls for his resignation in anti-government protests since mid-February, refused to sign the deal on April 30.

The United States, which has relied on Saleh to fight the Yemen- based AQAP, has expressed concern about the growing violence in the country.

Editor: yan

Gulf mediator leaves Yemen without securing power- transition deal

SANAA, May 18, 2011 (Xinhua) --

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) chief Abdulatif al-Zayani left Yemen's capital of Sanaa on Wednesday after apparently failing, during his five-day visit, to secure a peaceful power-transition agreement between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the opposition, a Yemeni official said.

"Al-Zayani left following the refusal by the opposition's representatives to meet their counterparts of Saleh's ruling party for talking about the arrangements of the next period after both inked the GCC deal," the official of the presidential palace told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Another government official said al-Zayani left after he failed to secure the signing of the agreement as the opposition refused to meet the demand of Saleh to replace its representative Mohamed Basundowa with the opposition rotating chairman Yaseen Saieed Noman.

"Because Saleh said Basundowa did not represent the opposition, " the official said.

Opposition spokesman Mohamed Qahtan refused to comment on the issue, but saying "we (opposition) have agreed on everything and we told that to al-Zayani ... and we are waiting for Saleh to sign the deal first, so we will then sign it too."

The deal, pressed by Western and Gulf mediators, stipulated that Saleh would leave office within 30 days after signing the deal in exchange for immunity from prosecution, and the new government, to be formed by the opposition within seven days, should arrange the presidential and parliamentary elections in 60 days.

However, the step stalled after Saleh refused to sign the deal on April 30.

One killed in clashes between republican guards, tribesmen in Yemen: tribal source

SANAA, May 18, 2011 (Xinhua) --

At least one people was killed and several others injured in clashes between tribesmen and forces of the Republican Guards in east of Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Wednesday, a tribal source told Xinhua.

The clashes erupted in Nihm district between anti-government armed tribesmen of Nihm and forces of the Republican Guards, killing one tribesman and injuring several others, the source said on condition of anonymity.

He said the Republican Guards' forces used heavy weapons in shelling the anti-government tribesmen.

Last week, the forces of the Republican Guards and the same tribesmen clashed after the latter intercepted a brigade of the former under a pretext of preventing the forces from moving towards the southeastern province of Hadramout to quell anti- government protests there, according to local tribal sources.

Three-month-long street protests and political deadlock between Saleh's ruling party and the opposition have almost brought the country on the verge of security and economic collapse.

Editor: yan

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