Yemeni President Does Not Sign Peace Deal
Western and Gulf diplomats failed on Sunday to persuade Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to sign a deal that would ease him out of power and make him the third Arab leader ousted by popular protests.
Saleh, a political survivor who had already twice backed out of signing at the last minute, was under intense diplomatic pressure to seal the Gulf-brokered deal to end three months of protests against his rule.
A Gulf diplomat said the Gulf Cooperation Council bloc of Yemen's wealthy oil-exporting neighbors may withdraw its initiative as a result.
Members of the ruling General People's Congress signed the agreement in the presence of Saleh, but he did not sign the document.
In a television address, Saleh indicated he would not sign unless the opposition, which had signed the deal on Saturday, attend a signing ceremony at the presidential palace, something they refused to do.
The deal would have given Saleh immunity from prosecution, ensuring a dignified exit after nearly 33 years at the helm of the Arabian Peninsula state.