Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Yemeni opposition given stern warning

SANAA, Yemen, July 5 (UPI) -- Civil war would erupt in Yemen if opposition leaders agree to form a council aimed at vetting a transitional government, a presidential aide said.

Abdu Ganadi said members of the opposition should join a unified government. Other senior officials close to embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said developing a transitional council would push the country closer to civil war, the Yemen Post reports.

Sultan Atwani, secretary-general of the opposition Nasserite Unionist People's Organization, said a transitional council could develop with a week, however.

Saleh has been recovering in a hospital in Saudi Arabia from wounds suffered during a June 2 attack on his presidential compound. He has refused to sign a deal, brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, to step down along with an offer of immunity.

Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, the foreign affairs minister in the caretaker government, was quoted by Bloomberg News as saying Saleh was starting talks on political transition with the opposition Joint Meeting Parties, southern separatists and members of the Houthi rebellion.

A spokesman for JMP told Bloomberg that Saleh should hand power over to his vice president before any other political moves are made.

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