GCC calls on Yemeni president to hand over power peacefully

The Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] yesterday called on the Yemeni government and the opposition parties to meet in Saudi Arabia to solve the ongoing crisis in the country, according to the Gulf initiative put to Sanaa last week.

The GCC initiative, whose details were announced by GCC Secretary-General Dr. Abdul Latif al-Zayani, called on the Yemeni government to take 2 steps, based upon 5 basic principles.

Following a meeting of the foreign ministers of the GCC member-states, GCC Secretary-General al-Zayani read the following statement:

The [GCC] Ministerial Council reviewed the latest developments in the Republic of Yemen in light of what was agreed upon by the GCC Ministerial Council meeting held on 3 April 2011, concerning contacting the Yemeni government and opposition through the initiative of the GCC in order to overcome the status quo. Within the framework of this contact and consultation by the ambassadors of the GCC states in Sanaa, with all parties concerned within the framework of the GCC initiative, the GCC states invite the government of Yemen and the opposition parties to meet in Saudi Arabia under the umbrella of the GCC, according to the following principles:

– The solution that will result from this agreement shall lead to maintaining the unity of Yemen and its security and stability.

– The agreement shall meet the aspirations of the Yemeni people for change and reform.

– The transfer of power shall be carried out in a smooth and safe way saving Yemen from slipping into anarchy and violence within national consensus.

– All parties shall adhere to removing political and security elements of tension.

– All parties shall commit to ceasing all forms of retaliation and prosecution through guarantees and undertakings given for this purpose.

The Saudi Press Agency [SPA] report, also said that the two steps that the Yemeni government must take are:

– The President of the Republic [of Yemen] shall announce the transfer of powers to the Vice President of the Republic [of Yemen].

– A government of national unity shall be formed under the chairmanship of the opposition and shall have the right to form specialized committees and councils to run the country politically, military, and economically, [as well as] to draw up a constitution and hold elections.

The GCC reiterated its concern towards the ongoing political unrest in the country, and the serious deterioration of the security situation in Yemen, expressing its deep regret over the loss of lives. The GCC Secretary-General also stressed the GCC states commitment to the unity, stability, and sovereignty of Yemen, and it’s respect for the will and choices of the Yemeni people.

The GCC meeting of foreign ministers was chaired by UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Mohammed Gargash and was attended by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem bin Jabr Al Thani, Omani Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah, Kuwaiti Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Dr. Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah and GCC Secretary General Dr. Abdul-Latif bin Rashid Al-Zayani. aawsat

Update: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh welcomed the efforts made by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and said he was ready to transfer his power peacefully within the framework of Yemeni constitution, an official of his office said on Monday.

However, an official of Saleh’s ruling party told Xinhua on Monday that his party has an objection to the plan, and said that the final decision will be made according to the Yemeni people’s willingness on Friday. Xinhua