Talks on Yemen president’s fate hit snag
Allies of Yemen’s president and his political opponents failed to make progress Saturday in talks on a possible exit for the man who has led the nation through 32 years of growing poverty and conflict and whose rule is deeply imperiled by a popular uprising.
As the political turmoil deepened, there were signs that Islamic militants in the remote reaches of the country were seeking to make gains on the situation. Residents and witnesses in the small town of Jaar in the south said suspected al-Qaida militants moved down from an expanse of mountains Saturday to seize control there a few weeks after police fled, setting up checkpoints and occupying vacant government buildings.
President Ali Abdullah Saleh argued in a TV interview that without him, the country would be at grave risk of breaking apart.
“Yemen is a ticking bomb, and if the political system collapses and there’s no constructive dialogue, there will be a long civil war that will be difficult to end,” he told the Al-Arabiya network.