Yemen’s President Considering Transition Plan

Posted August 12th, 2011 at 1:35 am (UTC-5)
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Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh has again expressed willingness to consider a plan by the Gulf Cooperation Council that would allow for a peaceful transition of power in his embattled country.

President Saleh told members of his General Congress People's party visiting him in Saudi Arabia on Thursday that he is looking for a way to implement the proposal in “a way that would guarantee a peaceful and smooth transfer of power.”

The GCC initiative, originally formulated in April, calls for President Saleh to cede power to his vice president, allowing a national unity government to be formed and presidential elections to take place.

The Yemeni leader has agreed to the Gulf Plan three times, but in each case withdrew before the deal was signed.

Meanwhile, opposition parties have announced plans to create a national council aimed at forcing Mr. Saleh from power.

On Thursday, Yemeni government officials dismissed that development as an “act of war,” saying it would create an illegal alternative government aimed at discrediting the government's “constitutional legitimacy.”

Mr. Saleh has been in neighboring Saudi Arabia since June, receiving medical treatment for injuries sustained during a bomb attack on his presidential compound.

Government officials said Thursday Mr. Saleh is still recuperating and will return home as soon as doctors allow him.