Saturday, November 5, 2011

Yemen's ruling party urges opposition leaders abroad to return for power-transfer dialogue

SANAA, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's ruling party on Friday urged the opposition leaders, who have been touring Arab countries for two weeks to seek support, to return home for resuming power- transfer dialogue.

"Today we call on leaders of the opposition coalition Joint Meeting Parties' (JMP) to return to Sanaa to resume the dialogue of power transfer based on the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative and the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2014, " the ruling party General People's Congress (GPC) said in a statement posted on its website.

The European Union ambassador to Yemen Michele Cervone d'Urso told the Yemeni state Saba news agency on Tuesday that Ali Abdullah Saleh has made a positive step to hand power to his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

"We hope that Eidal-Adha (Muslim holiday) will be an occasion to announce that Yemen has moved towards a new stage," d'Urso said, adding that "an agreement will be reached soon with the opposition. "

An official of the GPC said Saleh "finally agreed to move ahead in signing the GCC initiative to hand power to Hadi."

"But Saleh stipulates that he remains in office as honorary president until new president is elected, which is to be held in weeks after he signs the deal," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

The GCC initiative, which was brokered in April, stipulated Saleh to quit in 30 days and hand over power to Hadi, who would then form an opposition-led national government and arrange presidential elections in 60 days. Saleh has backed out of signing the deal three times in the last minute.

The impoverished Arab country has been rattled by almost daily protest since late January to call for an end to the 33-year rule of Saleh.

Pro-and-anti government rallies by thousands of demonstrators continued on Friday in the capital Sanaa, Taiz and some other major provinces to repeat their demands for-and-against Saleh.

In response, spokeswoman of the opposition National Council, Houria Mash'hour, described Saleh's move as "a good progress."

"The JMP's leaders are now committed to the appointments with leaders of some Gulf countries and they will come back to Sanaa simultaneously with the return of the UN envoy to Yemen Jamal bin Omar, who is coordinating the power-transfer deal between the opposition and Saleh's ruling party," she told Xinhua.

"We have learned that bin Omar will arrive in Sanaa on Nov. 11 to follow up the implementation of the UN resolution," Mash'hour added.

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