Yemeni president offers dialogue with opposition as protests continueBy DPA, IANS
Sunday, February 20, 2011
SANA’A - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh Sunday offered to open a dialogue with the opposition as pro-democracy protests that have seen violent clashes with security forces went into their tenth consecutive day.
Saleh declared in a speech to businessmen and local politicians that he was ready to talk about all “legitimate demands”.
“We also regret that some journalists were affected by the violent protests,” he was quoted as saying by the Saba news agency.
Students and other regime critics have been demonstrating in the capital Sana’a and the cities of Aden and Taiz for a change in the Yemeni leadership.
Authorities have been accused of using excessive force to control the demonstrations.
Four people were killed and dozens injured Friday in two separate attacks on protesters in Taiz and Aden, the website Yemenpost.net reported.
Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years, has promised not to seek another term in the next elections. But that has done little to appease the protesters.
“Leave, leave Saleh, our demands are clear,” some 500 people chanted in front of Sana’a University in the capital Saturday.
“Ali, go after Mubarak.”
Protests in several countries across the region have been inspired by the uprising in Egypt that led to the overthrow of long-time president Hosni Mubarak.