SANAA, Yemen, April 11 (UPI) -- Youth leaders in Yemen said Monday that mediation by the Gulf Cooperation Council is a violation of the country's constitution.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is said to have welcomed efforts by the GCC to end the political crisis in his country. Saleh has offered a series of concessions to anti-government protesters to gradually move out of power, though opposition leaders continue to call for his immediate resignation.
The GCC said Saleh should hand power over to his vice president, though the Arab leadership didn't offer a time frame.
Saleh in a statement carried by al-Jazeera said he had "no reservation" about the gradual transfer of power.
The official Saba news agency, however, said civil groups and youth leaders rejected the GCC initiative.
The Yemeni people reject the meddling in the internal affairs because it violates the principles of the country's constitution, the news agency added. Saleh rejected a proposal from Qatar last week on similar grounds.
Protests in Yemen have been ongoing since at least January after a wave of political unrest spilled across the Arab world.
Saleh is the first and only president of a united Yemen. Hundreds have been killed in protests since the beginning of the year.