White House calls for Yemeni president to resolve political impasse
The White House on Tuesday called for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resolve the political impasse in his country and ensure the "safety and security" of Yemenis, Xinhua reported.
"President Saleh needs to resolve the political impasse with the opposition so that meaningful political change can take place in the near term in an orderly and peaceful manner," the White House said in a statement, calling on all sides to engage in a " constructive political dialogue and to chart a course that puts Yemen's unity, progress and future prosperity ahead of individual agendas."
Yemen has witnessed weeks-long anti-government protests demanding an immediate end to the 33-year rule of President Saleh, resulting in more than 100 deaths so far. Clashes between government backers and anti-government protesters continued on Tuesday in major provinces of Sanaa, Taiz, Al-Hodayda, Al-Bayda, Aden, Abyan, Ibb and Hadramout.
"The United States strongly condemns the use of violence by Yemeni government forces against demonstrators in Sanaa, Taiz, and Al-Hodayda in the past several days," the White House said, adding that "we remind President Ali Abdullah Saleh of his responsibility to ensure the safety and security of Yemenis who are exercising their universal right to engage in political expression. We call upon the government of Yemen to conduct full investigations into these events and to hold those responsible accountable for their actions."
Saleh has been a key U.S. ally in the fight against the Yemen- based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, but American and Yemeni officials said that the Obama administration has concluded that Saleh is unlikely to bring about the required reforms demanded by the protesters and "must be eased out of office."