Yemeni political rivals blame each other for failure to sign GCC-brokered deal

14:11, May 19, 2011      

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by Mohamed al-Azaki, Wang Qiuyun

Yemen's ruling party and the opposition traded accusations for their failure to sign a Gulf-brokered power-transition deal after Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) mediator Abdulatif al-Zayani left Sanaa Wednesday evening.

GCC Scretary-General al-Zayani, who spent five days here trying to get the deal signed, left shortly after he told Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh that the opposition Joint Meeting Parties had accepted all his conditions and it was his turn to sign the agreement.

Saleh, who had refused to sign the deal on April 30, however, responded by putting more conditions on the deal, which tired the GCC mediator out.

Al-Zayani did not publicly comment on the matter, but the Yemeni rivals blamed each other for jeopardizing the Western-backed deal on a peaceful transition of power in Yemen.

"Al-Zayani left after the opposition's representatives refused to meet their rival's demand, namely talking about the arrangements after both sides ink the GCC deal," an official from the presidential palace told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Another government official said al-Zayani left as the opposition refused to replace its representative Mohamed Basundowa with the opposition rotating chairman Yaseen Saieed Noman as Saleh required.

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

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