Saleh warns of al-Qaeda takeover of Yemen | world | Hindustan Times
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Saleh warns of al-Qaeda takeover of Yemen

world Updated: May 21, 2011 20:19 IST
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The Yemeni president has condemned a US-backed proposal by Gulf Arab nations that he step down, calling it "a coup over legitimacy," and warning of an al-Qaeda takeover if he leaves office.

In a televised speech on Saturday, Ali Abdullah Saleh lashed out at so-called "world superpowers" as well as Yemen's Arab Gulf neighbours, accusing them of funneling cash to youth protesters to hold sit-ins and challenge his rule.

However, Saleh again signalled he would sign the deal, saying "we accept the initiative to stop bloodshed." An earlier official statement said he would sign on Sunday.

A Yemeni opposition spokesman, Mohammed al-Sabri, says the opposition will sign later Saturday.

The deal gives Saleh immunity from prosecution if he steps down within 30 days.