Accessibility links

Breaking News

Gulf Council to Ask Yemen's President to Resign

Yemeni army soldiers block the way as anti-government protesters attend a demonstration demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Taiz, Yemen, April 7, 2011

Qatar's prime minister says the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council hopes to reach a deal with Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Yemen's opposition on Saleh's resignation.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani commented while thousands of protesters rallied in Sana'a and other Yemeni cities, calling for Saleh's immediate departure.

Listen to Susan Yackee’s interview with The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Robert Powell:

Opposition leaders say the Gulf Cooperation Council [GCC] proposal calls for Saleh to hand over powers to a deputy. In addition, they say the plan would give Saleh immunity from prosecution.

The Associated Press reports opposition leaders have welcomed the proposal.

Saleh had earlier accepted a GCC invitation to talk with opposition representatives. However, no date has been set for the meeting, which would take place in Saudi Arabia.

Anti-government protesters in Yemen have repeatedly taken to the streets during the past two months, demanding an end to Saleh's 32-year rule. He previously has offered to step down but only after new elections are held.

On Wednesday, tens of thousands of protesters massed in Sana'a and the southern city of Taiz.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.