Sanaa: Yemen’s opposition blamed President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Thursday for the failure of a Gulf plan aimed at ending a bloody political dispute, saying he would do “everything” to remain in power.
Saleh “foiled the initiative by refusing to sign it” on Wednesday, the head of the opposition Common Forum, Yassin Saeed Noman, said.
The secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Abdullatif al-Zayani, flew out of Sanaa yesterday after sources close to the negotiations between the regime and opposition said the two sides again failed to ink the power transfer accord.
Saleh, in power since 1978, “has refused the peaceful choice and is ready to do everything to remain in power,” said Noman.
“With this, the regime will have to face the people who will continue with their peaceful revolt and will continue to escalate, even if the regime uses violence against them,” he said.
Conditions Saleh has set that he says will enable him to sign in his capacity as president, cannot be met, said another member of the Common Forum who requested anonymity.
According to the Gulf-brokered proposal, Saleh would quit office within 30 days, in return for immunity from prosecution, before a government of national unity is formed and elections for a new president held after two months.
A GCC official said today that the bloc’s foreign ministers will hold new talks on Yemen soon.
“In the coming days, there will be a meeting in Riyadh” of GCC foreign ministers to discuss Yemen, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The exact date of the meeting and whether or not any Yemeni parties will participate has not been finally decided, the official said.
Washington had issued a fresh plea on Wednesday for the deal to be inked.
US President Barack Obama’s aide John Brennan called Saleh to urge him to sign and implement the agreement “so that Yemen is able to move forward immediately with its political transition,” a White House statement said. Agencies