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Saleh won't quit until opposition leaves

Aug. 13, 2011 at 12:03 PM   |   Comments

SANAA, Yemen, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he won't step down until two political opponents leave the country.

Saleh, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, recovering from a June bomb attack, made the statement Saturday in a meeting with his ruling party, the General People's Congress, RIA Novosti reported.

Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 33 years, said he is willing to consider restarting talks on an agreement with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to leave office early, but he wants the two political foes to leave first.

Saleh said top Gen. Ali Moshen al-Ahmar, his half-brother, and Sheik Sadiq al-Ahmar must leave Yemen before he will leave.

Saleh has accused al-Ahmar, leader of the Hashid tribal confederation, of organizing the bomb attack on him at his home. Saleh suffered burns on 40 percent of his body.

Both opposition figures reportedly agreed to Saleh's demand they leave the country, the report said.

Yemeni opposition leaders said last month they wouldn't negotiate peace with Saleh unless he signs the Gulf Cooperation Council deal.

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