Yemen's Saleh Positive on Power-Transfer Offer

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, recovering in Riyadh from bomb blast wounds, said a Gulf proposal for power transfer which he averted signing in the past should be treated positively.

The embattled veteran leader, whose regime has been facing protests since January, said his ruling General People's Congress party stresses the need to "continue to deal positively with the Gulf initiative," Saba state news agency reported Thursday.

Saleh was speaking to members of his party who were visiting him at his residence in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where he is convalescing, it said.

"The GPC is committed to look for solutions for the dispute with the opposition," Saleh said, stressing the need to "find a mechanism to implement (the proposal) in a way that would guarantee a peaceful and smooth transfer of power."

The president who has been in office since 1978, and whose term ends in 2013, insisted, however, that the implementation of the Gulf proposal should be done "in accordance with the constitution."

The deal proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council in April stipulated that Saleh would submit his resignation to parliament 30 days after passing power to his vice president, and tasking the opposition with forming a national unity government shared equally between the GPC and the opposition.

Presidential elections would follow two months later.

The deal faltered in May after Saleh kept procrastinating in signing, and in early June he was flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment after being wounded in a bomb attack on his Sanaa presidential compound.

Despite his absence, Saleh has not transferred the reins of ruling to his Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi as his family members who lead strong army and security forces appear to run the country.

Source: Agence France Presse

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