Riyadh: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah on Wednesday
signed a deal to hand over his powers after 33 years in office
which Saudi King Abdullah hailed as marking a "new page" in
the impoverished country`s history.
Live footage of the ceremony aired by Saudi state
television showed Saleh ink the Gulf- and UN-brokered
agreement in Riyadh`s Al-Yamama royal palace watched over by
members of the Yemeni opposition as well as King Abdullah and
Gulf foreign ministers.
Representatives of Yemen`s ruling party and the
opposition also signed the deal which is intended to end 10
months of deadly violence.
Under the agreement, which Saleh had stalled for months
in defiance of intense domestic and international pressure,
the veteran leader will his hand powers to Vice President
Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution
for himself and his family, although he will remain honorary
president for 90 days.
"Today a new page in your history begins," the Saudi king
told the Yemeni delegations as they signed the deal.