Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh signed on Wednesday a deal proposed by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) under which he would hand over power to his vice president within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution for him and his family.
The Yemeni opposition signed the deal, proposed by the GCC in April, but Saleh has repeatedly procrastinated, causing a political deadlock that has put the country on the brink of a civil war.
Saleh, whose 33-year rule has been challenged by a nationwide popular uprising since February, signed the deal that will see him leave office in 30 days, clearing the way for Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi to take power.
Yemeni opposition leaders said in late July that they would not negotiate peace with the president unless he signed the GCC deal.
Saleh is planning to seek medical treatment in New York, Reuters quoted UN Secretary general Ban Ki-moon as saying.
“If he comes to New York I will be happy to meet him,” Ban said, adding that he was “encouraged by the positive development of the situation in Yemen.”