Saturday, 12 February 2011

Yemenis protest government, back Egyptian revolution

Source: CNN

More than a thousand Yemeni anti-government protesters took to the streets of the capital to support the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The protests Friday night were in Tahrir Square in Sanaa. Chanting crowds initially referred to the end of the 30-year regime of Mubarak, but later changed their focus to Yemen.

"Yesterday Tunisia, today Egypt, tomorrow Yemen will open the prison," some chanted, according to Human Rights Watch.

The government-run Yemen News Agency did not mention the protests on its website.

In a story on the website Friday, the nation's foreign minister said Yemen "does not risk popular uprisings such as those in other Arab states like Tunisia and Egypt."

"The Yemeni government has for many years maintained a constant dialogue with opposition forces with the aim (of) reforming the constitution and the electoral law," Abu Bakr al-Qirbi was quoted as saying in Rome, where he was meeting his Italian counterpart.

Anti-government protests have spread across Yemen recently, inspired by the revolts that ousted Tunisian and Egyptian presidents.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has said he will not seek another term and would postpone parliamentary elections scheduled for April to allow more time for reform talks with the opposition.

The rallies Friday were at the site of pro-government protests organized by political parties last week.

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