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Yemen Leader Attempting to Negotiate his Departure; Opposition Says it's 'Too Late'

10:25 AM, Mar 22, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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Another leader of an Arab nation seems to be on his way out. This time, it looks like it will be Yemen's leader, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh is currently trying to negotiate his departure with opposition forces. The New York Times reports:

President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, increasingly isolated amid defections and resignations, clung to power on Tuesday, at one point indicating he would accept an opposition deal for his early departure — proposed weeks ago — to head off the deepening crisis in the country.

But the opposition said it was too late: They said the proposal, which called for creating a plan this year for his early exit from power before 2013, was no longer sufficient and that only his immediate departure would appease the rising tide of street protests.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the Obama administration has worked with the Yemen strongman to fight against terrorism:

For the U.S., the prospect of an emerging civil war in Yemen and the possibility of losing a controversial but key ally in the war on terror has emerged as a significant national-security concern. Yemen's al Qaeda affiliate has used bases in tribal areas outside of Mr. Saleh's control to launch failed bombing attempts on U.S.-bound planes.

Washington has encouraged Mr. Saleh to loosen the reins and adopt democratic reforms, while spending tens of millions of dollars to train his forces to aid in counterterrorism operations.

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