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Yemen's Saleh says to quit in 90 days after reaching agreement of GCC-deal operating mechanism


10:18, November 15, 2011

SANAA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday said he would leave office in 90 days after reaching an agreement on a scheduled operating mechanism for implementing the Gulf-brokered initiative for power transfer.

"I will step down in 90 days after reaching an agreement with the opposition on a scheduled operating mechanism for implementing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative and signing it," Saleh said in an interview with France's Arabic-language Channel 24 television late on Monday.

"I do not mind to leave in 30, or 60 or 90 days ... the most important is we have to reach an agreement on a scheduled mechanism for implementing the deal," Saleh said.

Saleh has backed out from signing the initiative for three times in the last minutes since the deal was brokered in April.

"The ruling party and the opposition have agreed on more than 80 percent of the initiative's terms," Saleh said, denying reports that "he has refused to sign it."

"In fact, we do not want a new Gadhafi in the region, as I'm aware that anyone who clings to power is mad," Saleh said.

Asked if there was pressure exercised on him to leave power, Saleh said: "Yes, the United States and the international community put a lot of pressure on me to leave office, but I got used to such scenarios."

Meanwhile, the opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) accused Saleh of stalling the process of transferring power, in a statement posted on the opposition media.

Saleh has confronted 10-month-old protest calling for an end to his 33-year rule. The long-running political crisis triggered violence that killed thousands of people since late January, causing the collapse of security situation and the economic sector in the impoverished country.

The GCC deal, which was backed by the UN Security Resolution 2014, stipulates President Saleh to hand over power to his deputy Hadi and quit in 30 days in return for immunity from prosecution. Hadi would then form an opposition-led national government and arrange presidential elections in 60 days.

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