Thousands of Yemenis in the south of the country on Tuesday protested in demand for the restoration of the region's independence as Arab League chief Amr Mussa held talks with Yemeni leaders in Sanaa. Over 10,000 protesters marched in the city of Dhaleh while thousands more turned out in various centres in Lahej and Abyan provinces, witnesses told AFP.
Prostesters brandished the flag of the former independent state and chanted slogans callin on Arab League support for a renewed breakaway.
Amr Musa was in Sanaa for talks on Yemen's other conflict in the far north, where Shiite rebels have been clashing with the Yemeni army. Musa told reporters that he had discussed with President Ali Abdullah Saleh Yemen's unity, security and stability.
"Any initiative that tackles the situation in Yemen should be based on that priniciple to ensure the unity, security and stability of Yemen," he said. "The president has expressed openness in engaging in dialogue with the different political sides inside Yemen and abroad, no matter what the differences are, and he expressed his readiness to hold talks with them.
"The unity of Yemen does not concern only Yemenis but all Arabs, and what's important is a dialogue among everyone for the unity and the stability of Yemen," he added.