Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Thursday vowed to protect anti-government demonstrators from violence.
Saleh made the promise in a speech to thousands of people at a political rally in the capital Sanaa. So far some 30 protesters killed in weeks of unrest.
"We have ordered the security forces to continue to provide protection for all the protesters, whether they are supporters of our legitimacy or from the opposition," he said, according to AFP.
Meanwhile, an initiative announced by Saleh to draft a new constitution and move to a parliamentary system of government was dismissed by the opposition. "This initiative is too late. The demands on the street go beyond that and are bigger than that," said Mohamed Qahtan, according to Reuters.