x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Yemeni president accuses Al Jazeera of stoking protests

Ali Abdullah Saleh reportedly calls Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, asking him to urge the satellite channel “not to abuse its profession while reporting on the situation in Yemen”.

SANA'A // Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh accused Al Jazeera for inciting Thursday's protests that saw tens of thousands of people call for him to step down, the state news agency reported.

"The channel should stop incitement, exaggeration and distorting the facts, and furthermore it should avoid acts that encourage unrest, violence and sabotage in the Arab countries," Mr Saleh was quoted as saying by Saba.

The Saba news agency reported late on Thursday that Mr Saleh called Qatar's Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, asking him to urge Al Jazeera "not to abuse its profession while reporting on the situation in Yemen".

"What the channel is doing only serves the Zionist entity and terrorist groups such as al Qa'eda as well as the enemies of the Arab seeking to ignite dissent and threatening the future of the next generations" Mr Saleh said.

Quiet returned to the streets yesterday. Security patrols were non-existant and people were glued to television screens to watch developments in Egypt.

There were renewed calls for protests on Facebook, which has been a tool for activists to organise rallies here as well as in Tunisia and Egypt. Students and other activists used the site to call for rallies today at Sana'a University and then march to the city centre at Tahrir Square.

Protesters have called for a better standard of living as well as political reforms. The Yemen protests were organised by the Joint Meeting Parties, a coalition of six groups that includes the Islamist Islah party, the largest opposition party.

malqadhi@thenational.ae