SANAA – Yemen’s ruling party has opened talks with the country’s main opposition coalition following the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, according to the BBC. Protesters have called on the acting president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, to form a presidential council to seek a solution to the crisis in country. Violence has erupted recently following months of protest against Saleh. He was severely wounded in an attack on his compound on Friday.
Official sources told the BBC the talks in Sanaa between the ruling General People’s Congress (GPC) and the opposition coalition, the Joint Meeting Party (JMP) are the first of the kind. The JMP includes the main Islamist Islah party, socialists, Nasserists and some newer independent parties. The talks aim to find ways to reach a political solution, but details of the expected duration or specific areas of negotiation remain unclear.
The move comes a day after thousands of government supporters held a rally outside the residence of the acting leader, demanding the formation of a transitional council to create a new government.