GCC calls on Yemeni parties to sign initiative

Protests against the government of President Saleh have continued across Yemen. [Khaled Abdullah/Reuters]

Protests against the government of President Saleh have continued across Yemen. [Khaled Abdullah/Reuters]



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The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council again Tuesday (May 10th) invited the Yemeni government and the opposition to sign an initiative that would end the country's political crisis, but the agreement remains unsigned in an atmosphere of continuing demonstrations.

GCC leaders issued a press statement after the latest summit concluded Tuesday in Riyadh, emphasising their continued support for the Yemeni population.

The compromise agreement was ready to be signed by President Ali Abdullah Saleh both in his capacity as president of the ruling Congress Party and as president of the republic. The opposition refused to agree to the initiative if Saleh signed only as president of the party.

The GCC also requested that the government and the opposition select 30 representatives to sign the initiative, 15 from each side. Both sides have sent the names of their representatives, and they were added to the initiative.

On Sunday both parties were given a two-day deadline for final approval of the initiative which ended Tuesday evening. Saleh has still refused to sign and lately requested that a senior member of the ruling party sign the agreement, but neither the GCC nor the opposition will accept that condition, according to Al-Arabiya.

According to the terms of the Gulf initiative, Saleh would resign within 30 days after he signs the agreement. Saleh would transfer authority to his deputy, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, for a transitional period of 60 days and then presidential elections would be held. A prime minister from the opposition will be appointed to lead a transitional government. Saleh, his family members and his associates would receive immunity from prosecution.

Abdo al-Jundi, deputy minister of information, told Al-Shorfa, "This is a time limit for war, not peace. We, in the ruling party, reject such a statement because the initiative is also associated with its creators, and they are the Gulf States."

Al-Jundi said the president was ready to sign the initiative in response to the GCC invitation, stressing that the implementation of the initiative is the only way to end the crisis and the removal of political and security tensions as stated in the initiative are a necessary pre-condition which precedes the president's resignation.

He said, "Ending the sit-ins is essential for the elimination of political and security tensions."

The Revolution Youth in the Change Square in Sanaa began to escalate their protests Wednesday. Scattered crowds of demonstrators made their way towards the Prime Minister's office building in Sanaa, in response to calls made by some leaders of the Revolution Youth to march towards government buildings.

Al-Jundi said, "This is not a protest but a raid on government property," adding that "some of the protesters responded to strong calls from some leaders of the revolution who want to inflame the situation and enter Yemen into a war."

Fahd al-Muneifi, a member of the Youth Revolution Coalition who was at a field hospital, told Al-Shorfa that clashes between demonstrators and security forces caused dozens of casualties.

In Taiz, two people were killed and five were injured Wednesday during clashes with security forces and demonstrators. Protesters sealed off government buildings, according to wire reports. Seven people have been killed in the city since Sunday.

Al-Muneifi, said that "the closing of the doors of dialogue and the declaration of the Joint Meeting Party that the Gulf initiative has reached a dead end" means that the youth movement will continue to escalate protests until Saleh is gone.

Mohammed al-Mutawakil, a leader in the Joint Meeting Parties, told Al Shorfa, "The time limit given by the opposition parties and its partners to sign ended on Tuesday evening, and any negotiation or dialogue must be addressed to the young people in the squares."

He added that the real problem is not in the signature, but rather the absence of intent by the government to implement the initiative.





    I would like to let the Gulf leaders know that they have stained their hands with the blood of the Yemenis; however, this is not strange, because I swear the Saudi riyal and its Gulf counterparts are responsible for every drop of Muslim blood. Have mercy upon our brothers in the Gulf region. We do not want to supplicate against them, but the consequences of the evil acts affect us all. God knows your conspiracy against the Yemeni people, and if you are not working against the Arab peoples, then stop such interventions and stop supporting the oppressors, as you did with Hosni Mubarak and the rest of the current kings. Avoid the supplications of the oppressed people, because your injustice against the Yemenis has exceeded all limits. O God! Make the Gulf rulers face the same end and make them fall soon, in order not to kill more of the innocent Muslims as a result of their conspiracies. Soon, we will see the end of this aggression.