Middle East News
Yemen braces for fresh protest as UN debates resolution
Oct 14, 2011, 7:37 GMT
Sana'a - Thousands of Yemenis were expected Friday to hold anti-government marches as the United Nations Security Council was to debate a resolution calling on President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign a power transition deal.
Protesters were organizing massive gatherings in several provinces to push Saleh to step down after 33 years in office.
The UN is expected to ask Saleh to leave power soon, after Russia and China agreed to endorse the resolution.
The Russian and Chinese ambassadors to Yemen have informed the opposition leadership of their countries' agreement to a Gulf-brokered deal, the United Arab Emirates-based daily al-Bayan reported Friday.
Both countries invited opposition leaders to visit for discussions on how tackle the eight-month political stalemate in the country.
The Gulf initiative calls for Saleh to step down within a month of it being signed, with presidential elections to be held two months later. It also grants him immunity from prosecution.
Saleh has repeatedly said he is committed to the deal, although he has so far refused to sign it. However he has also said that he will not quit power until elections are held.
The deal aims at ending violence in the country after at least 1,480 people have been killed since protests began in February, according to government figures.