Nov. 23 - Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a deal agreeing to step down after 33 years in power. Deborah Gembara reports.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a deal in on Wednesday agreeing to step down after 33 years in power and 10 months of protests . Saleh and opposition leaders inked the agreement at a ceremony at the royal palace in Riyadh. Saudi State Television broadcast the signing live and Saleh could be seen chatting with King Abdullah who played host to the event. The Yemeni leader spent three months in Riyadh recovering after an assassination attempt in June. Under the agreement, Saleh will immediately transfer his powers to his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. In return he will retain the title of president until a new head of state is elected. Hadi would form a new government with the opposition and call an early presidential election within three months. News of the deal prompted celebrations all over Yemen which has been on the brink of civil war. Saleh is the fourth leader to be forced from power in 10 months of mass protests that have swept the Arab world. Deborah Gembara, Reuters.