A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Yemen's Salih May Sign Transition Deal Today, This Time for Real. No, Seriously. Maybe.

Yemen's President ‘Ali ‘Abdullah Salih announced in 2002 that he would not run for another term in 2006. As you may have noticed, he eventually changed his mind. Similarly, last month, when he was about t sign the GCC-brokered deal that would have seen him leave office in a month, he balked at the eleventh hour. So Yemen watchers are always skeptical when Salih says he's on the way out the door. He never seems able to find it.

The deal is allegedly on again, and both sides have said they will sign it today. A unity government would be formed, and Salih would leave within 30 days. They would sign it today, they said.

It's now well into the evening in Yemen, and I have yet to see an announcement it has been signed. (Perhaps they're still looking for a pen?) Even if it is, a lot can happen in 30 days, so I wouldn't pop the champagne corks just yet.

UPDATE: There's been a last-minute hitch. Surprise, Surprise!

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