The deal was brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council with the support of Saudi Arabia and the United States. The deal will grant immunity from prosecution for president Saleh, his family, and aides in return for his relinquishing power.
Within 30 days Saleh pledges to leave power which will then be granted to his vice president Abdrabuh Hadi. Important positions in the government no doubt will still be held by members of his family. Presidential elections are scheduled to take place within 90 days.
In a speech at the transfer Saleh called the protests a coup and did not mention their demands that he be held responsible for his crimes against the protesters. Saleh spoke of the opposition groups that welcomed the deal as his brothers. They are his brothers in selling out the protesters agenda to the status quo.
The Saudi King said that the signing represents a new page in the history of Yemen.
Now Saleh 69 is free to go to New York where he seeks medical treatment.
Soon after the announcement of the deal protests have broken out in the capital Sanaa. The protesters reject the deal. They want Saleh and his family to be held responsible for the deaths of many protesters during protests that began last spring.
Yemen still faces separatist uprisings in both the south and north as well as challenges from militant Islamist groups who have taken over considerable territory. For more see this article.