Sunday, July 24, 2011

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Yemen opposition rejects UN talk calls

  • Sunday, July 24, 2011
  • Aruntha Kanagaratnam
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  • ‘Saleh should first transfer power to his Vice President’ :

    YEMEN: The Yemeni opposition has rejected requests by a visiting United Nations envoy to hold talks with the country’s ruling party, insisting that Ali Abdullah Saleh must step down. “The leaders of the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMPs) told the UN envoy Jamal bin Omar that Saleh should first transfer power to his Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi before the commencement of any dialogue between the JMPs and Saleh’s ruling party General People’s Congress,” Xinhua quoted an opposition official as saying on Saturday on the condition of anonymity.

    Bin Omar arrived in Yemen on Wednesday on a mission to help end the long-running political impasse in troubled Yemen. He called on the ruling party and the opposition to hold a constructive national dialogue to solve the political crisis in the country. On Thursday, the UN envoy met with opposition tribal leader Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, who warned that the world body’s weak stance in pressing Saleh into a peaceful transfer of power could lead to a Libyan-style revolution in Yemen.

    Hundreds of thousands of people have been staging regular demonstrations in Yemen’s major cities since a popular revolution began in late January to end corruption and unemployment in the country and oust longtime dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. The use of violence by Saleh forces has left hundreds of people dead and many more injured, according to local sources.

    On Friday, tens of thousands of Yemenis hit the streets across the country to express support for the newly established transitional council, and denounced what they called the US and Saudi domination of their country’s internal affairs.

    Yemeni anti-government youth groups set up a 17-member transitional council on Saturday to manage the country’s affairs and to lead efforts to try and force Saleh to relinquish power

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