Sana'a: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has vowed to confront with his "blood and soul" the anti-government street protests being staged in the country seeking his resignation.
Addressing tens of thousands of his loyalists in the capital city Sana'a Friday, Saleh swore to "sacrifice everything" for his loyalists.
"I promise you that I will sacrifice my blood and soul and everything precious for the sake of the great people," Xinhua quoted the Yemeni president as saying.
He is facing mounting street protests demanding he leave power immediately,
Saleh made no more remarks to the loyalists, who flooded Sana'a from several provinces to back his constitutional right to stay in office until his term expires in 2013.
Saleh's loyalists dubbed the demonstration "Friday of Solidarity" to counter their rivals in the opposition, who also drew tens of thousands in a separated square outside Sana'a University Friday, calling it as "Friday of Liberation".
The president's supporters staged their demonstration in downtown Sana'a and Al-Sabeen area, which is close to the presidential palace.
Police and military forces were deployed at the entrances of the rallies. They had set up large roadblocks to separate the two rival rallies to avoid any possible clashes.
Both pro and anti-government demonstrations were reportedly organised in all major provinces.
The president and opposition have reached a deadlock in their ongoing negotiations for peacefully transiting the power. They have been trading accusations of hindering the conciliation talks.
The standoff between them has led to deterioration of economic situation as well as security condition, following government's pulling out police from some towns.
The absence of police and deterioration of security in some southern provinces led anti-government protesters to set up militias for self-defence, while well-armed resurgent Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) seized control over some remote areas.
He claimed that the majority of people were supporting him. He declared not to offer any more concessions to the opposition which wants him to resign before 2013.
First Published: Friday, April 01, 2011, 23:48