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Yemen President confirms he will be stepping down soon

Cairo, Sun, 09 Oct 2011 ANI

Cairo/Sana, Oct.9 (ANI): Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh hasrevealed that he would step down soon, even as his country continues to tilt toward a civil war.


With the country's powerful tribes and mutinous soldiers also arrayed against him, Saleh, who is known to have broken similar promisesduring the past three decades that he has been in power, said: "I reject power and I will continue to reject it, and I will be leaving power in the coming days."


Addressing the nation on state television on Saturday, Saleh said: "I call on my supporters to persevere and to confront any challenge."


According to the Los Angeles Times, Saleh's announcement came the day after journalist and human rights activist Tawakul Karman was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for leading demonstrations against Saleh.


The award of the prize is being seen as the latest international repudiation of long-time leader Saleh, who survived an assassinationattempt four months ago.


His opponents dismissed Saleh's vow to resign as another ploy.


"Saleh has given many speeches about leaving power and no one believes this. It's an attempt to draw attention away from the Nobel Prize andto head off criticism," said Mohammed Sabri, an opposition leader.


Saleh has refused to honor a plan backed by the U.S. and Persian Gulf states for a transfer of power in spite of the pressure mounting on him to quit.


His surprise return to Yemen last month after recovering in Saudi Arabia from a rocket attack on his compound that left him severely burned only heightened the unrest. (ANI)


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