4th time is, apparently, the charm for President Ali Abdullah Saleh – he has finally and officially signed a deal aimed at ending Yemen’s months-long political crisis – and his own 33-year rule.
The agreement, brokered by the country’s Gulf Arab neighbors, was signed in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. The deal oversees a transfer of power from Saleh to his deputy, Adb-Rabbu Mansour Hadi ahead of an early election. In return, the soon to be-former Yemeni President will receive immunity from prosecution. Mr Saleh said he will cooperate fully with his country’s new proposed unity government.
The sighs of relief were heard almost as loudly as the pens hitting the paper – Mr Saleh has backed out of 3 previous power transfer agreements at the last minute, fueling further turmoil in the country – causing a lot of concern for Yemen’s next-door neighbor and world’s largest oil producer, Saudi Arabia.
This deal was made possible after United Nations envoy, Jamal Benomar, managed to devise a compromise for the deal crafted by the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Meanwhile, protesters are still camped in Yemen’s Change Square demanding Saleh leave power immediately, not after 30 days as per the deal signed today