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Yemeni opposition agrees to resume talks with govt

After warning of an uprising similar to that of Egypt, Yemeni opposition agreed to resume talks with the government

AFP , Sunday 13 Feb 2011
Yemeni anti-government protesters chant slogans during a demonstration demanding political reform and the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa, Yemen, Sunday 13 February 2011. (AP)
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Yemen's parliamentary opposition agreed on Sunday to resume talks suspended since October with the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been facing calls by protesters to step down.

The Common Forum, an alliance of parliamentary opposition groups, "is ready to sign a framework agreement this week... on (resuming) national dialogue," it said in a statement received by AFP.

Talks would resume from the point at which they were suspended on 31 October , it added.

"We urge the authorities to learn a lesson from what happened in Tunisia and Egypt," where massive revolts by the people forced out their respective leaders," the statement said.

It warned of a similar "popular uprising" in Yemen, a country they said is weighed down by "corruption, poverty, unemployment, repression, injustice and tyranny."

They also urged Saleh to prove his goodwill by dismissing members of his family and relatives holding leading positions in such institutions as the army, police, government, and regional councils.

Under opposition pressure to stand down, Saleh, in power for 32 years, announced on 2 February the freezing of constitutional amendments that could have seen him president for life and promised that his son would not succeed him.

He also put off controversial plans to hold elections in April without a promised dialogue on reform, and appealed for an end to street protests.

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