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Yemeni president says "ready to step down with respect and dignity"

© RIA Novosti . Alexey Druzhinin / Go to the mediabankYemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh - Sputnik International
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Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told Al Arabiya television on Saturday that he is ready to leave power "with respect and dignity."

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh told Al Arabiya television on Saturday that he is ready to leave power "with respect and dignity."

Saleh, who has ruled Yemen for 32 years, said he could step down "even within a two hours notice," adding that he would not hand power to rebels fighting the government.

Since early February Yemen has been hit by the wave of unrest that has swept through the Arab world, toppling authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt and mass popular uprisings in Libya and Bahrain.

Saleh, whose presidential term expires, said earlier that he would not run for a new term and hand power to his son.

Last Sunday Saleh dismissed the government and promised to put a new constitution to a referendum this year and create a parliamentary system in the country but the Yemeni opposition rejected this initiative.

MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti)

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