End to political crisis in Yemen is near

April 26, 2011 at 3:28 PM
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SANAA, Yemen, April 26 (UPI) -- Yemeni opposition leaders agreed to sign an agreement that gives Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh immunity if he steps down in 30 days, an official said.

Saleh said he agreed to the terms of a proposal brokered in part by members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The deal sees the embattled president resign within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

GCC officials entered the Yemeni political crisis to keep the country from descending into further chaos. Apart from a divided government, the country faces a security threat from an active branch of al-Qaida, a violent secessionist movement in the south and a Shiite rebellion in the north.

Joint Meeting Parties, a group of six Yemeni opposition groups, agreed to the GCC plan. Mohammed Basendwah, the leader of the Yemeni Preparatory Committee for National Dialogue, told Bloomberg News the accord would be signed next week in Saudi Arabia.

His group was formed in 2008 to help avert an earlier political crisis in the country.

Saleh, whose current term expires in 2013, had offered anti-government groups a series of concessions only to be met with calls for his immediate resignation.

More than 100 people were killed in the violence that began in February.

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