Monday, 19 December 2011

Yemen defected general supports unity government 


SANAA-Yemeni defected General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar said on Sunday that he backs the country's new coalition government formed in line with a Gulf-brokered power transfer deal after months of anti-government protests.

"We completely support the new opposition-led coalition government and the process of the joint military committee, both of which are part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) initiative, " Mohsen told reporters at a news conference in Sanaa.

Mohsen's announcement came one day after the military committee began to withdraw forces and troops loyal to outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh from the capital Sanaa.

Meanwhile, the general met on Sunday with representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, the European Union and the GCC countries as part of his efforts to help restore normalcy in the unrest-ridden country.

The initiative was signed by Saleh and opposition leaders in Saudi Arabia on Nov. 23 to end the 11-month-long turmoil that left thousands of people dead and brought the impoverished Arab state on the verge of civil war and economic collapse.

Under the deal, early presidential elections in Yemen are set to be held on Feb. 21, 2012, while Saleh retains the title of honorary president for 90 days before his resignation and enjoys immunity from prosecution afterwards.

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