U.S. supports Yemeni president's exit
Top story: President 's administration reappraised its policy toward , and now supports an orderly transition of power that would remove Yemeni President Abdullah Ali from office. Yemen has recently been wracked by popular protests calling for the president's resignation. Saleh's security forces responded at times by firing on the protesters, and have killed dozens of people in recent weeks.
The United States had previously refrained from criticizing Saleh, who is considered a strong ally in the effort to defeat al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
One Yemeni official suggested that the U.S. position shifted after Saleh began negotiations with the domestic opposition over the terms of his departure from office, a little over one week ago. According to one Yemeni official, Saleh and the opposition have agreed on a proposal to hand over power to a transitional government, led by Saleh's vice president, until new elections take place. The two sides are now debating the timing of his departure, the official said.
It appears that the United States is involved in negotiations to ensure Saleh's safe passage out of the country, following his resignation. And Washington will surely be eager to maintain a strong counterterrorism relationship with whoever succeeds Saleh as president. One Obama administration official pointed to Saleh's continued delay in meeting the demands of the opposition as contributing to the mounting unrest in the country.
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