Aug 10, 2011
RIYADH (Reuters) - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to look at restarting a Gulf Arab initiative on solving the country's crisis and ensuring a peaceful transfer of power, a Yemeni government official said Wednesday.
The official said Saleh had met members of Yemen's ruling party in Riyadh, where he has been receiving medical treatment since being badly injured in an assassination attempt in June.
Yemen has been sliding toward civil war during six months of protests demanding Saleh's overthrow. A transition plan brokered by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been moribund since Saleh last avoided signing it in May.
"He agreed with them to explore ways of restarting the GCC initiative and of creating a mechanism that will ensure a peaceful transfer of power," the official told Reuters after Saleh's meeting with the ruling party members.
Saleh had agreed to work with the main opposition parties, other Yemeni groups, international bodies and concerned countries to finds ways to end the crisis, the official said.
The United States and Saudi Arabia, both targets of foiled attacks from al Qaeda's Yemen-based branch and wary of chaos that could embolden the group, have tried to ease Saleh from office with the GCC plan, which Saleh has agreed to three times, only to back out of signing it at the last minute.
The president emerged Sunday from the Riyadh hospital where he had been receiving treatment since a bomb attack in his palace on June 3 left him with severe burns and other injuries.
The United States has urged Saleh not to return home from Saudi Arabia, diplomatic sources said.
After debating Yemen Tuesday, the U.N. Security Council called for "an inclusive, orderly and Yemeni-led process of political transition that meets the needs and aspirations of the Yemeni people for change."