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GCC Tries to Broker Yemen Deal, as Bullet Still Fly



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Via the NYT

The violence came as the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-nation regional group, sought to broker an end to the political crisis. Yemen’sSaba news agency said government officials were meeting with the council in Abu Dhabi, following similar meetings with opposition representatives on Sunday.

Gunfire erupted during in the capital on Tuesday as government supporters threw rocks and beat protesters with sticks while security forces used tear gas and a water cannon to push back a march in the center of the city. At a nearby hospital one protester died of a gunshot wound to the head and three others were wounded; it was unclear whether security forces or plainclothes men had opened fire. A witness said a protester threw a gasoline bomb at the water canon…

According to a plan proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council, Mr. Saleh would hand over presidential powers to his vice president and then leave office a month later under a guarantee of immunity from prosecution for himself and his family. Presidential elections would be held after 60 days, in accordance with the country’s Constitution. The plan is seen as a compromise between what the ruling party and the opposition have been seeking.

Yemen’s opposition coalition, known as the Joint Meetings Parties, has indicated its support for the plan; Mr. Saleh has yet to respond.

A high-ranking Yemeni official, who spoke anonymously because he is not authorized to speak to press, said Mr. Saleh was seeking a guarantee that leading figures from the opposition, notably Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar, would leave Yemen for a set period of time if he agreed to step down. The official described such an arrangement as a tribal method of settling scores and meant to ensure that the president saved face.

The violence came as the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-nation regional group, sought to broker an end to the political crisis. Yemen’sSaba news agency said government officials were meeting with the council in Abu Dhabi, following similar meetings with opposition representatives on Sunday.

Gunfire erupted during in the capital on Tuesday as government supporters threw rocks and beat protesters with sticks while security forces used tear gas and a water cannon to push back a march in the center of the city. At a nearby hospital one protester died of a gunshot wound to the head and three others were wounded; it was unclear whether security forces or plainclothes men had opened fire. A witness said a protester threw a gasoline bomb at the water canon…

According to a plan proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council, Mr. Saleh would hand over presidential powers to his vice president and then leave office a month later under a guarantee of immunity from prosecution for himself and his family. Presidential elections would be held after 60 days, in accordance with the country’s Constitution. The plan is seen as a compromise between what the ruling party and the opposition have been seeking.

Yemen’s opposition coalition, known as the Joint Meetings Parties, has indicated its support for the plan; Mr. Saleh has yet to respond.

A high-ranking Yemeni official, who spoke anonymously because he is not authorized to speak to press, said Mr. Saleh was seeking a guarantee that leading figures from the opposition, notably Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsin al-Ahmar, would leave Yemen for a set period of time if he agreed to step down. The official described such an arrangement as a tribal method of settling scores and meant to ensure that the president saved face.



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