News / Middle East

    Yemeni President Agrees to Meet Opposition in Saudi Arabia

    Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivers a speech to his supporters in Sana'a (File Photo - March 25, 2011)
    Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivers a speech to his supporters in Sana'a (File Photo - March 25, 2011)

    Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has accepted an invitation from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council to hold talks in Saudi Arabia with opposition representatives who want him to step down.

    Some opposition groups Tuesday welcomed the talks, but many were non-committal. A senior official with one of the larger anti-government parties said Mr. Saleh's opponents would be open to discussions, but only if they focus on the "immediate transfer of power."

    Many in the capital, Sana'a, view GCC intervention as potentially significant and see the group as having more leverage over key Yemeni political figures than Western countries.

    The European Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton issued a statement Tuesday saying Yemen's political transition "must begin without delay." The U.S. echoed that call.

    Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Washington has no intention of stopping its military aid to Yemen despite the unrest. He said support for Yemeni counter-terrorism efforts is essential because of the "real threat" from al-Qaida in the country.

    These developments came as violence erupted in Yemen for a third straight day. A shootout broke out between troops supporting protesters and tribesmen loyal to Mr. Saleh in Sana'a, killing three people. General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, who turned against the Saleh government last month, said the incident was an attempt to assassinate him.

    Several Yemeni military leaders have recently withdrawn support for Mr. Saleh and are siding with demonstrators, as pressure mounts for the longtime president to leave office.

    In the southern city Taiz, plainclothes security men opened fire and launched tear gas at protesters again on Tuesday. Dozens were wounded, mostly suffering from tear gas inhalation.

    At least 15 people were killed on Monday during anti-Saleh protests in Taiz. The escalating protest comes as international calls intensify for Mr. Saleh's resignation.

    The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed alarm at what it terms "reports of disproportionate and excessive use of force, including machine guns, against peaceful protesters in Taiz" on Monday.

    The New York Times  reported that the United States is dropping its longtime support for Mr. Saleh and negotiating the terms of his departure. The State Department would not confirm the reports.

    A Yemeni opposition spokesman said U.S. and European diplomats were in contact with Mr. Saleh and also asked anti-government leaders for their "vision" for a transition. The opposition Saturday gave U.S. officials a proposal that Mr. Saleh resign immediately and hand over power to a temporary government led by Vice President Abd al-Rab Mansur al-Hadi until new elections are held.

    The Yemeni president, in power for 32 years, has offered to step down but only after new elections are held. His term ends in 2013.

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Greenpeace Leak: US-EU Trade Deal Would Favor Corporations

    Activist group leaks classified documents to 'shine a light' on talks that could create the world's largest bilateral trade and investment pact

    Video Ethiopia's Drought Takes Toll on Children

    East African country’s crops failed in 2015, creating food shortages for 10 million – including 6 million children whose development may be compromised

    What Your First Name Reveals About Who You Vote For

    People named Chad are more likely to be Republicans and Jonathans are usually Democrats

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora