Broken Promises

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh Refuses Deal to Step Down

After three months of protests, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh refused to sign a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council to step down with immunity in one month. Meanwhile, at least 200 of Saleh’s loyalist supporters armed with AK-47 rifles and daggers trapped several diplomats inside the United Arab Emirates Embassy in Sana'a—the location where the deal was to be signed. Trapped inside the embassy Sunday were U.S. Ambassador Gerald M. Feierstein, British counterpart Jonathan Wilks, GCC envoy Abdullatif bin Rashid Zayani, and representatives of the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, who had gathered to witness the signing, according to witnesses. Early Monday morning, a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency said that the gulf council was dropping its efforts to bring an end to Saleh’s 32-year rule “for lack of appropriate circumstances for agreement.”