Yemeni power transfer deal could be reached in GCC's Abu Dhabi meeting: official

13:36, April 19, 2011      

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An agreement for power transfer in Yemen could be reached following a meeting of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) foreign ministers to be held on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, the GCC officials told Xinhua Monday.

Foreign ministers of the GCC will hold a meeting in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday to complete Riyadh's discussion to defuse the political crisis in Yemen, Yemen's official Saba news agency reported Monday.

"Abu Dhabi's meeting will discuss the fruit of the 31th, 32th and 33th consecutive meetings of the GCC, which were held over the past days in Riyadh to establish a contact between the Yemeni government and opposition based on the GCC initiative," Saba said.

The meeting in Abu Dhabi will be chaired by Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al- Nahayan, it said.

Meanwhile, GCC officials in Abu Dhabi who are familiar with the conciliation talks told Xinhua Monday that an "upcoming agreement for transferring power from Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh could be announced within the next two days following the GCC meeting in Abu Dhabi, which European ambassadors are due to take part in for reaching the deal."

The officials, who asked not to be identified, said that "the deal could be announced on Wednesday in Abdu Dhabi's GCC meeting, which Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will attend."

"The existence of Gulf and European mediators would provide more help in seeking solutions about ensuring requested immunity for Yemeni President Saleh and his family members from being prosecuted after he transfers the power and steps down," said the officials in Abu Dhabi.

The representatives of the Yemeni opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) on Sunday announced in a statement that they stuck to the GCC initiative on April 3, which clearly stated Saleh's immediate abdication after he passes power to his deputy.

At their latest meeting on April 10, the GCC foreign ministers floated a proposal calling for Saleh to hand over power to his vice president and form a unity government headed by the opposition.

Yemen has witnessed political crisis ignited by opposition- backed street protests since mid February. The protests, which demanded the end of the 33-year rule of Saleh, undermined the security and stability of the country.

Source: Xinhua
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