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Yemeni President In Saudi Arabia To Sign Power Transfer Deal

A Yemeni woman holds a sign bearing a doctored picture of President Ali Abdullah Saleh behind bars with text that reads, "Wanted for justice... The one who captures him will be rewarded," during a pro-democracy demonstration in Sanaa in late October.
Yemeni state television says President Ali Abdullah Saleh has arrived in Saudi Arabia to sign a power-transfer deal mediated by Arab states as a way to resolve his country's protest-fueled crisis.

The report said Saleh arrived in Riyadh but did not say when the deal was to be signed.

Under the proposed agreement, Saleh -- who has ruled Yemen for 33 years -- is to transfer power to his deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Saleh has repeatedly promised to sign the initiative, only to back down every time.

Tens of thousands of protesters have been calling for Saleh's ouster for months.

Hundreds of people are believed to have been killed and thousands wounded as security forces tried to suppress the protests.

The political turmoil has seen powerful tribes and army dissidents join the struggle to oust Saleh, who was seriously injured in an attack on the presidential compound in

Militants with suspected links to Al-Qaeda wrested control of swaths of southern Yemen earlier this year with the government's attention focused on repelling public calls for new leadership in the capital.

compiled from agency reports