Foreign minister says Yemen studying mediation offer

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SANAA: Foreign Minister Abu Bakr Al-Kurbi said Yemen’s government is studying an initiative by Gulf Arab states to end a months-long confrontation with anti-regime protesters, in a statement published Friday.

Protests calling for the departure of veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in which about 125 people have been killed, have gripped the impoverished country since late January.

"The initiative of foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is being studied by the political leadership of our country," Kurbi said.

"Any initiative aimed at finding a solution to the crisis in accord with the constitution of the Republic of Yemen is welcome," he said.

Concerned by the continuing unrest in Yemen, members of the six-nation GCC offered to mediate between the government and the opposition.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem Al-Thani said on Thursday that GCC states "hope to reach a deal with the Yemeni president to step down."

The exit plan offered to Saleh would see him hand power over to his deputy, while providing guarantees of protection to him and his family, the opposition says.


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