Protests continue as Riyadh meeting confers about Yemeni crisis

14:43, April 11, 2011      

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Tens of thousands protesters marched through Yemeni major provinces on Sunday to press President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ouster as the country's foreign minister discussing with his Gulf counterparts in Riyadh a conciliation mediation to the Yemeni political crisis.

Protesters in provinces of Sanaa, Aden, Taiz, Dhamar, Ibb, Al- Hodayda, Hadramout, Al-Bayda, Saada and Amran marched on Sunday in massive demonstrations, repeatedly calling for one demand that " People want to overthrow the regime," witnesses said.

Meanwhile, pro-government rallies by tens of thousands of demonstrators on Sunday went to streets of Sanaa, Taiz and Ibb to call for Saleh to stay in office until his presidential term expires in 2013, according to state Saba news agency.

The continuing pro- and anti-government rallies took place simultaneously as Yemeni foreign minister attended an emergency meeting with his counterparts of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, to discuss a GCC conciliation mediation to solve Yemen's prolonged political crisis, government officials said.

One official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi will hand over to the meeting a new initiative proposed by the Yemeni political leadership to end the ongoing deadlock with Saleh's opponents in the opposition Joint Meeting Parties (JMP).

The official declined to elaborate further about the new initiative, but said the Riyadh's meeting would set a date for launching the conciliation talks between the Yemeni rival political forces.

Yemen has faced weeks-long anti-government protests, demanding an immediate end to the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. The political crisis recently resulted in deterioration of security and stability after the government pulled the police out from some towns of major provinces under pretext of avoiding friction with protesters.

Sources at the opposition JMP said they would only deal with initiative that stipulates Saleh to immediately resign.

Source: Xinhua
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