Qatar quits Yemen mediation attempt

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The Independent Online

Qatar has pulled out of the effort to mediate an end to Yemen's political crisis, blaming the country's embattled president for the impasse.

Qatar was among six Gulf nations pushing a deal for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 32 years in power in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

Three months of massive street protests have demanded the autocratic ruler's immediate departure, and a government crackdown has killed about 150 people.

The six nations of the regional alliance known as the Gulf Co-operation Council are worried that Yemen's growing instability could destabilise other parts of the Arabian Peninsula.

Yemen's official news agency said Saleh's party accused Qatar of siding with the protesters and welcomed its withdrawal from the talks.