Deal on Yemen crisis may be done next week

April 26, 2011 17:20


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SANAA - A Gulf Arab deal for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power could be finalised next week, Gulf officials said on Tuesday, as Yemen struggles to end a political crisis that threatens to plunge it into chaos. A senior opposition leader said the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Abdullatif al-Zayani, was expected to visit capital Sanaa within days to determine the time and venue for signing a deal requiring Saleh to step down within 30 days.

"We expect an arrangement and signing of a deal to be completed -- the sooner the better," opposition leader Mohammed Basindwa, who is seen as a top candidate to lead a transitional government, told Reuters.

Yemen's Western and Gulf Arab allies have tried for weeks to mediate a solution to a three-month crisis in which protesters, inspired by the toppling of leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, have taken to the street demanding an end to Saleh's 32-year rule.

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