Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Best wishes for Yemen

updated 11/23/2011 3:10:53 PM ET

Yemen's authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed Wednesday to step down amid a fierce uprising to oust him after 33 years in power. The U.S. and its powerful Gulf allies pressed for the deal, concerned that a security collapse in the impoverished Arab nation was allowing an active al-Qaida franchise to gain a firmer foothold.

Saleh is the fourth Arab leader toppled in the wave of Arab Spring uprisings this year, after longtime dictators fell in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. The deal gives Saleh immunity from prosecution — contradicting a key demand of Yemen's opposition protesters.

Celebrations erupted in the capital Sanaa as Saleh inked the agreement. Yemenis danced in the streets, set off fireworks and waved flags.



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