Foreign Minister Westerwelle welcomes Yemeni President Saleh’s renunciation of power

23.11.2011 - Press release

Today, President Saleh signed an agreement brokered by the government and the opposition, under which he will cede power. In this connection, Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement today (23 November):

“It was high time President Saleh gave up power. His decision to do so presents an opportunity to solve the political crisis in Yemen.
What is important now is that all sides put a stop to the violence and start working constructively on a new and peaceful beginning despite existing difficulties and differences.
Yemen faces enormous political and economic challenges. The Federal Government stands ready to support the complicated political transition process wherever it is possible and sensible to do so.”

Supporters and opponents of President Saleh have been involved in violent clashes in the Yemeni capital Sana’a since the beginning of the year, killing hundreds and injuring many more. President Saleh repeatedly refused to sign an agreement to transfer power.

Following months of mediation efforts by the Gulf Cooperation Council in order to enable a peaceful and orderly transfer of power, President Saleh agreed to cede power in Riyadh today. The agreement provides for the formation of a transitional government, early presidential elections and the drafting of a new constitution. During the transitional period, former Vice President Hadi is to be given comprehensive powers to implement the transition agreement.

In October, the UN Security Council adopted a Resolution on Yemen, sending a clear message to Yemen’s political leaders to finally put a stop to violence and end the political vacuum. The negotiations in Sana’a were supported by the United Nations.

Germany campaigned early on for the Security Council to address the situation in Yemen and co sponsored the Resolution.

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