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Yemen President Repeats Offer for Dialogue

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses a meeting of the ruling General People's Congress party leaders in Sanaa on October 19, 2011.

Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Monday welcomed a U.N. Security Council resolution urging him to leave office and said again that he is ready for talks to put it into motion.

The state news agency reported that Mr. Saleh wants to sit down with opposition parties and their partners to adopt a Gulf-mediated plan for him to transfer power.

The Gulf Cooperation Council proposal offers Mr. Saleh immunity from prosecution if he hands power to a deputy within 30 days. On at least three occasions, Mr. Saleh has refused to sign the plan, saying he first wants international guarantees about a timetable for its implementation.

Monday's statement was his first response to the U.N. measure passed on Friday seeking to end his 33-year-long autocratic rule. The Security Council also condemned Mr. Saleh's violent crackdown on protesters.

On Sunday in Sana'a, thousands of Yemeni opposition activists marched to demand his ouster.

Fighting between rival forces has intensified in the Yemeni capital in recent weeks.

On Saturday, fighting between pro- and anti-Saleh forces killed at least 12 people in Sana'a's northern Hasaba district. Medical officials say the dead included fighters on both sides and five civilians.

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

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