Yemen's President Will Reportedly Sign Plan To Transfer Power

May 18, 2011

Yemen's President, Ali Abdullah Saleh has apparently agreed with opposition leaders to leave power under a transition plan. Al-Arabiya reports the agreement, negotiated with the help of Western mediators and the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (or GCC), is supposed to be signed today by Saleh and the opposition leaders, who say there are no more obstacles. But:

...pretty much the same sentiments were expressed on earlier occasions when Mr. Saleh and his opponents had agreed to the GCC deal, only for it to collapse mainly because of the president's recalcitrance.

NPR's Andy Carvin is hearing conflicting reports on whether Saleh will actually sign the deal - be sure to follow Andy here.

Qatar, one of the GCC members, quit the Yemen mediation efforts last Thursday, citing stalling, the violence and "a loss of wisdom", according to the Qatar News Agency.

Reuters finds the same doubts when questioning Yemen watchers, because three months of bloody street protests have failed to force Saleh out after some 33 years in power. One activist suspects Saleh will sign the agreement but not implement it.

Al Jazeera says anti-Saleh demonstrations continue in several cities, as Yemenis mark more than 100 days of protests. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit