Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yemen president not to quit until opposition ends security tension

SANAA, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh will not resign until the opposition remove all the causes of political and security tension, a senior official of Saleh's ruling party said on Sunday.

The Assistant Secretary-General of the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) Ahmed Obaid bin Dghar quoted by the GPC official website on Sunday as saying "the resignation of President Saleh will not be done until the opposition remove all the causes of political and security tension as well as lifting the daily street protests."

Bin Dghar also stipulated that the opposition should end rebellion inside the army units, insurgency of the Houthi-led northern Shiite group, separatist Southern Movement and the Yemen- based terrorist wing of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The ruling party apparently raised its conditions in order to ink the GCC initiative through the remarks of its senior official, who at the same time renewed the GPC welcome to the six-nation GCC initiative, stressing it should be implemented in whole.

The political situation has aggravated by the ongoing three- month-old street protests that rocked major provinces of the impoverished country to repeat demands of an immediate end to the 33-year rule of embattled President Saleh.

The spokesman of opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) Mohamed Qahtan told Xinhua earlier last week that they will go ahead in signing the GCC deal as peaceful street protests would continue because protesters practiced their rights guaranteed by the constitution of Yemen.

Upon the request of the protests' organization committee, civil disobedience reportedly continued on Sunday in major cities of provinces of Aden, Taiz, Al-Dhalee, Al-Hodayda, Hadramout, Ibb and Al-Bayda to press for Saleh's resignation.

Meanwhile, a Yemeni diplomat cited the visiting UN Secretary- General's Political Advisor Gamal bin Omar as saying that his Saturday's meetings with President Saleh and the opposition " revealed a big gap between the two sides and that a reconciliation agreement based on the GCC initiative seemed to be stalled."

The diplomat, who is familiar with the latest meeting between Saleh and his ruling party also told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that "Saleh has recently rearranged political and security situations of his regime and he (Saleh) clearly intends to remain in office until his term ends in 2013." President Saleh met with army and security top commanders on Saturday, directed them to raise the security and military vigilance to maintain security stability over what he said "recent violence by outlaws of the opposition, whose he accused of escalating political, security and economic crises," according to official Saba news agency.

More than 140 demonstrators have been killed in clashes with security forces since late January. There are also fears that the violence could escalate as the majority of the country's 23 million people own guns.

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