Thursday, November 24, 2011

Yemen's President Resigns ... From Saudi Arabia

Another three decade plus old Arab dictatorship crumbles...

"Yemen's authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed Wednesday to step down amid a fierce uprising to oust him after 33 years in power. The U.S. and its powerful Gulf allies pressed for the deal, concerned that a security collapse in the impoverished Arab nation was allowing an active al-Qaida franchise to gain a firmer foothold.

Saleh is the fourth Arab leader toppled in the wave of Arab Spring uprisings this year, after longtime dictators fell in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The deal gives Saleh immunity from prosecution — contradicting a key demand of Yemen's opposition protesters.

Celebrations erupted in the capital Sanaa as Saleh inked the agreement. Yemenis danced in the streets, set off fireworks and waved flags.

Seated beside Saudi King Abdullah in the Saudi capital Riyadh, Saleh signed the U.S.-backed deal hammered out by his country's powerful Gulf Arab neighbors to transfer power within 30 days to his vice president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. That will be followed by early presidential elections within 90 days.

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