Ali Abdullah Saleh and one of his renegade top generals are reportedly near a deal that would send both packing in a matter of days. Saleh has been meeting with Gen. Ali al-Ahmar, who defected and ordered troops to protect protesters this week, to discuss how the country could shift to a transitional governing council if he stepped down. “Both sides have agreed on the main points of departure, and Saturday is expected to be the day,” a source tells the Wall Street Journal.
But Saleh sure didn’t sound like a guy about to step down in his television appearance yesterday, in which he spoke scornfully of protesters and urged military defectors to return to the fold, the New York Times observes. Ahmar, meanwhile, went on TV to say he didn’t have any designs on political power. “Military rule in the Arab world is outdated,” he said. American and Saudi officials are reportedly closely monitoring the talks. (Read more Yemen stories.)