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Emirati minister heads to Yemen for crisis talks

UAE's foreign minister in Sanaa to follow up GCC efforts for a handover of power in Yemen

AFP , Thursday 21 Apr 2011

The United Arab Emirates foreign minister is expected in Sanaa this weekend for Gulf-mediated talks on the crisis in Yemen, a senior Yemeni official said on Thursday.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahayan, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Gulf Cooperation Council, would be joined on Saturday by GCC chief Abdullatif al-Zayani, the official said on condition of anonymity.

Their mission was part of the "GCC's efforts being made for a peaceful settlement in Yemen," said the official.

Yemen's veteran president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has defied protesters calling for him to stand down amid a deadly crackdown on almost three months of demonstrations against his iron-fisted, 32-year rule.

On 10 April, the GCC - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - appealed to Saleh to "announce the transfer of his powers" to his deputy, Yemen's vice president.

Foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council held talks on Tuesday with representatives of Saleh's regime as part of efforts to hammer out a deal under which the veteran president would step down.

But the meeting in Abu Dhabi appeared to have made no significant progress.

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© 2010 Ahram Online.