[QODLink]
Middle East
US envoy meets Yemen interim leader
Obama's counterterrorism chief holds talks with Yemeni vice president, a day after meeting Saleh in Saudi Arabia.
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2011 23:49
US counterterrorism chief [L] met Yemeni president [R] on Sunday urging him to sign off on power transfer deal [Reuters]

The top United States counterterrorism official has urged Yemen's interim leader to reconsider a power transfer deal that could end five months of violent protests in the country, government sources have said.

John Brennan, US President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser, met Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, the Yemeni vice president, on Monday after meeting with President Ali Abdullah Saleh in a Saudi Arabia hospital a day earlier.

Brennan briefed Hadi on the details of his meeting with Saleh, said a Yemeni government official.

"During the meeting, Mr Brennan called upon President Saleh to fulfill expeditiously his pledge to sign the GCC-brokered agreement for peaceful and constitutional political transition in Yemen," the White House said in a statement on Sunday.

"The United States believes that a transition in Yemen should begin immediately so that the Yemeni people can realise their aspirations."

It was the strongest and most public sign yet of US pressure on Saleh to accept the deal, brokered by Gulf Arab countries led by US ally Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, Hadi briefed Brennan on his previous meeting with the opposition groups regarding a transition plan, which envisions presidential elections two months after the initial handover of power.

Opposition rejects new proposal

A member of the opposition said on Monday that a proposed amendment to the transition plan, presented by Hadi, has been rejected because it was seen as an attempt to bypass the opposition proposal.

Abdullah Obal, an opposition activist, said the proposed amendment extended the transition period beyond the originally suggested period of two months.

Hadi has headed the government since embattled President Saleh left for his neighbouring country for treatment after suffering serious burns in a June 3 attack on presidential compound in Sanaa.

Opposition groups, which have been staging protests since February against more than three-decade rule of Saleh, insist that the Yemeni president must step down immediately and unconditionally.

Brennan is expected to meet with Yemeni opposition groups during his visit.

Saleh, who has ruled Yemen since 1978, has repeatedly refused to sign a plan brokered by the Gulf Co-operation Council bloc in which he would hand over power within 30 days in exchange for a promise of immunity from prosecution.

Brennan's visit appeared to reflect Washington's concerns about the growing strength of al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list