Yemeni president accepts transition plan

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has accepted the power transition plan, proposed by Gulf Arab mediators, under which he will have to resign soon, his aide told Al Jazeera.

Under the plan, proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the president will resign within 30 days and the new president will be elected within two months. GCC comprises Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Saudi Arabia.

“The president has agreed and accepted the initiative of the GCC,” presidential aide Tariq Shami said.

“The transition of power in Yemen will take some time. It needs an agreement between the national powers and the opposition at the same time,” he added. “This thing will happen within 60 days if we have an agreement.”

Saleh, who has ruled the country for more than three decades, voiced his readiness to accept the transition plan of Friday, during a rally of his supporters.

Opposition coalition also welcomed the GCC plan, but refused to take part in the national unity government and criticized the plan for making Saleh and his relatives immune to prosecution.

U.S. State Department urged Yemeni leadership to start the transition of power immediately.

“The timing and form of this transition should be identified through dialogue and begin immediately,” State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said.

The protests, inspired by popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, broke out in Yemen in early February. According to western media reports, at least 120 people have been killed.

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti)

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