October 22, 2011

WASHINGTON – The United States said Friday the transfer of power in Yemen must begin “immediately,” after the UN Security Council passed a resolution urging President Ali Abdullah Saleh to quickly step down.

“The international community sent a clear, unified message that the time has come for President Saleh to allow the Yemeni people to live free from violence and insecurity,” a State Department spokesman, Mark Toner, said in a statement.

The Security Council called on Saleh to keep a promise to immediately sign a Gulf Cooperation Council deal that would see him step aside 30 days after it was signed, and for a peaceful transition of power “without further delay”.

The resolution, backed by all 15 council members including the US, also “strongly condemns” deadly government attacks on demonstrators since protests against Saleh erupted in January. Several hundred people have been killed.

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