Yemen comes close to sign GCC deal: deputy information minister

08:44, May 19, 2011      

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Yemeni Deputy Information Minister Abdul Janadi said in a statement on Wednesday that Yemen is close to sign the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) deal, which may take place within next few hours or days.

"President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed earlier today to sign the deal, initially announced in early April, but meetings and dialogue should be held with the opposition over its terms before finalizing the GCC plan," said Janadi.

"What I can tell media now is that Yemen is close to sign a power-sharing deal," he said, adding that "This may take place within the coming hours or days. We are not in such a hurry, but we hope that everything goes OK."

Saying that they were considering fresh but slight modifications to the deal, which has been amended five times, opposition officials said the government continued to maneuver.

Informed sources said the ruling party suggested that the opposition sign the deal on behalf of the youth-led protesters, a proposal the opposition has strongly rejected.

"The opposition is not responsible for ending the protests. None can control the street, and we are now meeting to come out with helpful decisions," said an opposition official on condition of anonymity.

The significant move came amid mounting external pressure on the parties to start an immediate and orderly transfer of power in Yemen, the sources said.

It came on a third visit by the GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif al Zayani to Yemen to push the deal unveiled in April, which has recently raised concerns whether it will hold.

Earlier, an official of Presidential Palace told Xinhua that President Saleh and his ruling party agreed to sign GCC deal on Wednesday while the opposition is still considering and discussing it, and the signing ceremony may be held in the next few hours.

The official said that Saleh will sign the deal as president of ruling party at first, and after the opposition inks it, he will also sign it as Yemeni president.

The opposition spokesman Mohamed Qahtan told Xinhua that their officials are in a meeting, and opposition has not made the final decision.Source: Xinhua
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