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[P]GCC Shelves Yemen Mediation Efforts

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TEHRAN, May 23 (ICANA) - Persian Gulf Arab states have suspended mediation efforts in Yemen after the country's president refused to sign a deal aimed at pulling the country out of its political deadlock.
Monday, May 23, 2011 9:57:01 PM
[P]GCC Shelves Yemen Mediation Efforts

Ministers from the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) announced Sunday that they would no longer maintain their mediation efforts following Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh's failure to sign a transition deal for him to abdicate power, AFP reported.

The [P]GCC had "decided to suspend their initiative in the absence of the propitious conditions," according to a statement issued from Riyadh.

Earlier on Sunday, the Yemeni embattled president balked at signing the deal, proposed by the [P]GCC, mainly because the opposition representatives refused to meet the president's condition to go to his palace to sign it.

Under the deal mediated by the [P]GCC, Saleh would hand power over to the Yemeni vice president within 30 days after the signing of the agreement in exchange for immunity from prosecution by parliament.

A national unity government led by a prime minister from the opposition would then be formed, and a presidential election would be held 60 days after Saleh's departure.

A commission, made up of members of the current government and the opposition and representatives of the US, the EU, and the UN, would be established to "supervise the implementation of the agreement over 30 days."

Hundreds of thousands of people have turned out for regular demonstrations in Yemen's major cities since late January, calling for an end to corruption and unemployment and demanding the ouster of Saleh, who has been in office since 1978.

On Sunday, the embattled president warned against a potential civil war if the opposition steps up its anti-regime protests.

"The opposition coalition will be held responsible if they escalate street protests and drag the country into a civil war ... they will be held responsible for the blood that had been and would be shed during the previous days and in the next days," Saleh said in a speech he delivered through the state television.

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