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Opposition Groups Offer Yemeni President Transition Plan


President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks during a media conference in Sanaa (file photo)

President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks during a media conference in Sanaa (file photo)

Opposition groups in Yemen have presented President Ali Abdullah Saleh with a plan for a smooth transition of power, in an effort to end the political crisis that erupted in the country last month.

The plan emerged Wednesday after a meeting between opposition members and religious scholars.

The exact details of the plan were unclear Thursday, but the French news agency (AFP) quoted a parliamentary opposition spokesman Mohammed al-Sabri as saying it called for Saleh to step down by the end of the year.

Saleh has not responded to the proposal. He has said he will not seek re-election when his current term expires in 2013.

On Wednesday, Saleh called the White House to express regret for any misunderstanding caused by his public criticism of the United States and Israel. The call to President Barack Obama and homeland security adviser John Brennan came a day after Saleh accused the United States of fueling the daily protests against him.

He also said the United States and Israel have been working together to generate unrest designed to destabilize the Arab world.

U.S. officials have denied any involvement in the unrest.

Saleh is a key ally of Washington against al-Qaida in Yemen.

Anti-government protests have taken place across Yemen, with at least 24 people killed by government loyalists since the demonstrations began last month.

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