Yemen transition deal falls through at last minute

By REUTERS
May 18, 2011 21:50

 
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SANAA - A deal on a transition of power in Yemen fell through at the last minute on Wednesday, even as Washington stepped up pressure on President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign a Gulf-brokered agreement to ease him out of office.

Heavy diplomatic wrangling by Western and Gulf diplomats keen to resolve the three-month standoff had secured an agreement in principle that would see Saleh, a shrewd political survivor, resign within a month, an opposition official said.

But in a familiar twist, last-minute snags over details derailed the deal that would have granted Saleh immunity from prosecution, allowing him a dignified exit from power in the Arabian Peninsula state he has ruled for nearly 33 years.

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