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Yemen's Saleh slams door on opponents

March 28, 2011 at 11:35 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, March 28 (UPI) -- The Yemeni president said he wouldn't offer more concessions, adding all so far have come from the ruling party in Sanaa.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is clinging to power as calls for his resignation mount. He declared a state of emergency last week though clashes erupted in the east of the country by Thursday.

Opposition groups continue to dismiss Saleh's concessions and tribal groups announced Thursday they were backing the anti-government movement, a move echoed by many of the country's top generals.

Saleh said he wasn't making further concessions, noting they came from the ruling General People's Congress and not any single individual.

He added that democracy means rational discussions among many parties, though some in Yemen don't understand that principle.

"I derive my strength from the people, not from the tank," he was quoted by the official Saba news agency as saying.

He added that al-Qaida, Houthi rebels from the north and other opposition groups have joined forces in an effort to undermine the majority in the country.

"If we stand up together to face this challenge, the crisis will end," he said.

Last week, Saleh told partisans he was willing to surrender power but only to "safe hands."

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