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Yemen's President Rejects Resignation Plan; Protests Continue

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh delivers a speech to his supporers in Sana'a, (file photo)

Yemen's president announced his rejection of an exit plan proposed by Gulf States on Friday as tens of thousands of protesters gathered for rival demonstrations in the capital, Sana'a.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh told supporters his government had rejected what he called a "coup" against his country's constitution and democracy. He said Yemen's power came from its "great people, not from Qatar" or anyone else.

On Thursday, Qatar's Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani said the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council was hoping to reach a deal with Saleh that called for him to step down. Opposition groups said the plan called for the Yemeni leader to hand over power to a deputy.

Chanting pro and anti-government demonstrators massed at different locations in the capital after Friday prayers.

For the past two months, anti-government protesters have been calling for an end to Saleh's 32-year rule. He has offered to resign, but only after new elections are held.