Yemeni leader to step down


The Yemeni President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has agreed to step down from his 32-year rule.

His departure will form part of a 30-day transition plan aimed at ending the unrest caused by protests over his leadership. Government officials in Sanaa confirmed that they had accepted the plan drawn up by Gulf Arab states.

Power will be handed from Mr. Saleh to his vice-president one month after an agreement is signed with the opposition, in return for immunity from prosecution.

At least 120 people have died during two months of protests.

Leader of the opposition Yassin Noman was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying he welcomed news of the handover but would not take part in a proposed national unity government.

The opposition have been insisting they will not accept immunity from prosecution for Mr Saleh and his family.