Defecting Yemeni army soldiers guard an anti-government protest in Sanaa
Defecting Yemeni army soldiers guard an anti-government protest in Sanaa to demand the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who is recovering in the Saudi capital from bomb blast wounds sustained in an attack on his compound in the Yemeni capital in June. © Mohammed Huwais - AFP
Defecting Yemeni army soldiers guard an anti-government protest in Sanaa
Last updated: September 6, 2011

Yemen ruling party mulls UN plan to end crisis

Yemen's ruling General People's Congress met Tuesday to consider a UN plan to end the violence rocking the country since protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in January, a source close to the party leadership told AFP.

The party's political bureau was "studying a mechanism for implementing the Gulf initiative put forward by UN envoy Jamal Benomar" on a recent visit to Yemen, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The plan drawn up by the six wealthy Gulf states in coordination with the European Union and the United States called for the immediate formation of a government of national unity with Saleh stepping down a month later in return for a promise of immunity but the president has repeatedly refused to sign it.

Opposition sources said that the UN plan called for the formal transfer of power to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi by Saleh, who has been in Saudi Arabia since early June being treated for blast wounds sustained in a bomb attack on his place but has so far refused to hand over the reins.

The UN plans also calls for the immediate launch of negotiations on the formation of a government of national reconciliation, which would rule the country for an interim period of three or six months during which preparations would be made for a presidential election.

The interim government would also oversee the reorganisation of the armed forces, which have split over the past nine months with some key units defecting to the protest movement.

Ruling party sources said that Saleh had raised "objections to certain clauses" of the UN plan and that the political bureau meeting would continue on Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qurbi meanwhile held talks with US ambassador Gerald Michael Feierstein on Tuesday on prospects for resolving the crisis, the official Saba news agency reported.

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