Yemen leader balks at signing resignation deal

SANAA, Yemen – Yemen’s embattled president on Sunday resisted intense U.S. and Arab pressure and stalled at signing a deal calling for him to step down in 30 days, as his regime brought armed supporters into the streets demanding he stay. Hundreds of militiamen trapped the American and other ambassadors inside a diplomatic mission for hours.

The militiamen, armed with knives and swords, blocked the entrances to the United Arab Emirates Embassy, where at least five U.S., European and Arab ambassadors had gathered, expecting President Ali Abdullah Saleh to arrive to sign the agreement.

Finally in the evening, Yemeni military helicopters landed at the embassy and ferried the diplomats out, taking them to the presidential palace. There they witnessed several Yemeni ruling party officials sign the accord. But Saleh, shown on state TV standing alongside the U.S. ambassador, did not sign.  Read more:

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