Qatar pulls out of Gulf mediation: official

DOHA- Qatar said Thursday it was withdrawing from a mediation bid by Gulf Cooperation Council monarchies in the Yemen conflict which stalled after the country's leader refused to sign a GCC-brokered deal.
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani informed GCC chief Abdullatif al-Zayani of his government's decision by phone, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said.

The decision was based on "indecision and delays in the signature of the proposed agreement" and "the intensity of clashes" in Yemen where security forces killed 19 demonstrators opposed to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh within 24 hours.
Zayani earlier Thursday condemned the violence and called on all parties to back his draft deal which he said was the best way to help Yemen out of tragedy and spare the country more insecurity and political dissent.
Mediation by the GCC, which was launched in early April, has led to a diplomatic crisis between Doha and Sanaa, which recalled its ambassador to Qatar in protest at a statement by the prime minister that Saleh must go.
Relations between Sanaa and Doha deteriorated further when Saleh accused Qatar of plotting against his country.
Saleh charged in an interview with the Russia Today television channel late last month: "The state of Qatar is funding chaos in Yemen and in Egypt and Syria and throughout the Arab world".
"We reserve the right not to sign if the representatives of Qatar are present" at the ceremony, Saleh also warned.
The GCC plan proposes the formation in Sanaa of a government of national unity, Saleh transferring power to his vice president and an end to the deadly protests rocking the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation since late January.
The president would submit his resignation to parliament within 30 days, to be followed two months later by a presidential election.

Friday, May 13th 2011

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