Yemeni President Returns, Confirms Transfer of Power
Saleh already surprised supporters and critics in Yemen when he returned late last week from Saudi Arabia, where he was recovering from wounds he sustained from an attack on the presidential palace over the summer. He has seemed to do everything he can to hold on to power.
From The New York Times:
By returning, Mr. Saleh inserted himself into what has turned into a bloody struggle in the streets of the capital between his family members, who control a portion of the armed forces, and Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar, a former ally who severed ties with Mr. Saleh in March. Urban warfare threatens to escalate into a larger civil war in this already beleaguered country that is on the brink of chaos. Over 100 people have died in the fighting.
In a speech that was broadcast Sunday night on state-run Yemen TV, Mr. Saleh said “we are committed” to the Gulf initiative, a plan originally brokered by the Persian Gulf states that make up the Gulf Cooperation Council. The plan would allow for a transfer of presidential power and pave the way for early elections.
President Saleh also had select words for his opponents, who have called for his resignation since early this year.
From The Voice of America:
President Saleh criticized his opponents, saying that they had led the country to what he called a "grave" political crisis and that many acts of “terrorism” had been committed.
Mr. Saleh called the crisis massive, saying it requires that Yemen's leaders learn from the demonstrations in recent months that resulted in scores of people dead and wounded. Yemen's president thanked the United States and Saudi Arabia for helping his country in the fight against terrorism. And he thanked the United Arab Emirates for providing fuel to Yemen.
In a loud tone, Mr. Saleh criticized his opponents for encouraging chaos, arguing that Yemen's constitution allows peaceful demonstrations, but not what he called the destruction of state property and robbery.
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