Yemen's Saleh says dialogue best option

July 20, 2011 at 11:52 AM

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, July 20 (UPI) -- All political voices in Yemen are called on to respond to requests from the vice president to sit at the negotiating table, the country's president said.

Yemeni opposition groups announced they formed a shadow government they said would oversee political transition in the country. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has faced steady pressure to step down after refusing to sign a transition deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Jonathan Wilks, the British envoy to Yemen, said London wouldn't recognize the opposition council and instead warned there could be negative consequences unless power was transferred to Yemeni Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi, the Yemen Post reports.

Hadi is overseeing the government while Saleh is recovering in Saudi Arabia from wounds suffered during a June 3 attack on his presidential compound.

Saleh said all political forces should heed Hadi's calls for a national dialogue, stressing peaceful discussions were the only way to overcome national problems in Yemen.

"We have never ceased to emphasize the necessity of a peaceful dialogue to find a solution to all these problems," he was quoted by state-run news agency Saba as saying from Riyadh.

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