Yemen hails Qatar's withdrawal from GCC power-transition deal

14:59, May 13, 2011      

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Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling party on Friday welcomed Qatar's decision to pull out of a Gulf-mediated plan aimed at easing Saleh from power, the Defence Ministry said.

"The ruling General People's Congress (GPC) and its allies of the National Alliance Parties warmly welcome the decision of the superpower Qatar to withdraw from the initiative brokered by the brothers foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)," the ministry quoted unnamed spokesman of the GPC as saying.

"Yemen is now ready to deal positively with the GCC initiative without the participation of Qatar, which has involved in a conspiracy not only against Yemen, but against the whole Arab countries," the spokesman said.

"It has become clear that Qatar has its own agenda to carry out and it has become well known the side that stands behind Qatar's agenda," he said, affirming that "Yemen will continue to deal with the other brothers of the GCC countries for achieving the initiative for the benefit of everyone."

Saleh, who has faced escalating protests demanding an immediate end to his 33-year rule, has accused Qatar of plotting against his country by funding the opposition and provoking protests through false reports broadcast by the Qatar-based TV channel Al Jazeera.

Qatar's quit the GCC-brokered initiative late on Thursday, saying it made the decision because of the delay in signing the deal by Saleh, according to official Qatar News Agency.

It said Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al- Thani had informed GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani of Qatar's decision.

Under the GCC initiative, Saleh should leave office within 30 days after signing the deal in exchange for immunity from prosecution, and the new government, formed by the opposition within seven days, should arrange the presidential and parliamentary elections in 60 days.

But that step was stalled after Saleh refused to sign the deal on April 30. Efforts to solve the crisis in Yemen went ahead as GCC chief Al-Zayani is due to head for Sanna Saturday to try to resume talks between Yemen's president and opposition over the peaceful power transition.

Source: Xinhua
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