Monday, May 23, 2011

Yemen president warns of civil war

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh

Source Press TV

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh has warned that a civil war could break out if the opposition was not present during the signing of a deal proposed by the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC).

Saleh made the remark in a speech he delivered through the state television after he balked at signing the deal, mainly because the opposition representatives refused to meet the president's condition to go to his palace to sign it on Sunday, SABA --Yemen's official news agency -- reported.

"I would sign the [Persian] Gulf deal only if the opposition's representatives come to the Republican Palace to sign it with me at the same time, because the opposition would be our partner in the power for the next 90 days," Saleh stated.

The deal proposed by the regional Arab grouping of the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council, gives Saleh immunity if he steps down. The country's opposition unilaterally inked the agreement on Saturday.

The Yemeni embattled president went on to warn against a potential civil war if the opposition steps up its anti-regime protests.

"The opposition coalition will be held responsible if they escalate street protests and drag the country into a civil war ... they will be held responsible for the blood that had been and would be shed during the previous days and in the next days," Saleh added.

In a popular revolution that began in late January, hundreds of thousands of people have been staging regular demonstrations in Yemen's major cities. The public have been calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding Saleh's ouster.

The president has been in office for nearly 33 years with several opposition members arguing that his long-promised political and economic reforms have never materialized.

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