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U.S. welcomes formation of Yemeni coalition government


09:16, December 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 13 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. on Tuesday welcomed the formation of the new Yemeni coalition government as part of the power transfer deal meant to end months of political unrest in the country, State Department said in a statement.

The department said that the U.S. commended Yemen's Vice President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa for their efforts in forming the national consensus government.

"This marks another significant step forward as the government and the opposition continue to enact a peaceful and orderly transition of power in Yemen, leading to presidential elections set to take place on Feb. 21," said the department.

The department also urged all sides to "refrain from violence and to work together in good faith and with transparency," reaffirming the U.S. commitment to strengthening partnership with Yemen.

The 34-member new government was sworn in on Saturday before Vice President Hadi, and headed by Prime Minister Basindwa, an opposition leader nominated by the opposition coalition in line with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative.

Yemen has been gripped by political crisis since late Jan. when protests demanding an end to Saleh's 33-year rule erupted. Saleh's party General People's Congress and the opposition Joint Meeting Parties signed the power-transfer initiative in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Nov. 23 in an attempt to end the crisis.

Under the deal, early presidential elections are set to be held on Feb. 21, 2012, while Saleh retains the title of honorary president for 90 days before his resignation and has been granted immunity from prosecution.

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