Politics & Policy

In Yemen, Pres. Saleh Still in Negotiations

From the New York Times: 

 

“I will transfer the power to safe hands, and not to malicious forces who conspire against the homeland,” he said, renewing an offer to open dialogue with young people leading protests against him. The anti-Saleh demonstrators have rejected such offers in the past and have demanded his immediate departure. For his part, Mr. Saleh offered weeks ago to leave office by 2013, but that did not staunch the protests.

“We are with you,” he said to his supporters, ”firm and steadfast against all the challenges.”

He said that his challengers “want to gain power over the at the expense of martyrs and children.”Yemeni and American officials said on Thursday that Mr. Saleh was engaged in serious negotiations over the timing and conditions for the end of his 32-year-rule rule, but they cautioned that no deal has been reached. One official said the date of Mr. Saleh’s departure appears to be the biggest obstacle. Mr. Saleh’s speech on Friday may have been intended to signal his thinking after a month of protests.

In another television appearance on Thursday, Mr. Saleh struck a defiant pose, referring scornfully to antigovernment protesters while offering amnesty to military defectors who return to the government’s side.

Nonetheless, the protest movement, now almost two months old, appeared to be gaining momentum with the defections in the past week of a host of high-level government officials, including senior military commanders and ambassadors, and the protesters’ rejection of Mr. Saleh’s latest offer, to leave office by the end of the year.

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