News / Middle East

Yemen's President Ponders Transition Plan

People walk along a street where posters hang of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, August 7, 2011
People walk along a street where posters hang of Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh in the old city of Sanaa, Yemen, August 7, 2011

Yemen's president says he is studying how to implement a plan for a peaceful transition of power, while a government official has warned that an opposition plan amounts to a war declaration.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he is considering a plan put forth by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

A state-run media report on Thursday Saleh emphasized the importance of dealing positively with the Gulf initiative and looking for the "appropriate mechanism" for carrying out a peaceful transition.

He made the comments to members of his ruling General People's Congress during a meeting in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.  He has been in Saudi Arabia since June, recovering from wounds sustained during an attack on his presidential compound.

Saleh has previously refused to sign the GCC initiative, which calls for him to hand over power to a deputy and allow opposition figures to form a national unity government.

Separately, Yemen's deputy information minister Abdu al-Guindy has warned against an opposition plan to establish a "national council" alternative government.

Opposition leaders have announced plans to meet next week to discuss the formation of such a council.

Saleh has refused to step down, despite six months of nationwide protests against his 33-year rule.


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

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