03/24/2011 04:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Yemen's President: Transfer Of Power Will Be Peaceful

SANAA (Reuters) - Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh promised Thursday to transfer power peacefully, but gave no indication of the timing or conditions, according to a statement by him aired on the Al Jazeera news channel.

Facing mounting protests over his three decades in power and his top general siding with protesters demanding democracy, Saleh had offered a new presidential election by January 2012 instead of September 2013, when his term ends.

"There is no way by any means or circumstance for the political system to offer itself to the gallows," Saleh said. "By all means come for political dialogue and power can be transferred peacefully through constitutional institutions."

Protesters plan a rally dubbed "Friday of Departure." Presidential guards loyal to Saleh clashed Thursday with army units backing opposition groups demanding his ouster.

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