Yemen's Saleh Signs Power-Transfer Deal

Yemen's authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed Wednesday to step down after a fierce uprising to oust him from 33 years in power. Saleh signed the agreement, brokered by Yemen's Gulf Arab neighbours, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. 

Saleh, seated beside Saudi King Abdullah in the Saudi capital Riyadh, signed a U.S.-backed deal hammered out by his country's powerful Gulf Arab neighbors to transfer his power within 30 days to his vice president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. The agreement cleared a key roadblock in the transition to a new era for Yemen, which has been the scene of violent protests for months as Saleh's opponents demanded he leave power after 33 years in office.
Live footage of the ceremony aired by Saudi state television on Wednesday showed Saleh sign the Gulf- and UN-brokered agreement in Riyadh's Al-Yamama royal palace watched over by members of the Yemeni opposition as well as Saudi King Abdullah and Gulf foreign ministers.

A crackdown on anti-government protests, which began in February, has left hundreds of people dead and thousands wounded in Yemen. The 69-year-old leader - who has ruled since 1978 - came close to signing the deal several times in the past, only to pull out at the last minute...CONTINUE READING ALI ABDULLAH SALEH RESIGNS:

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