The U.N. Security Council is urging all sides in Yemen to reject violence and take urgent steps towards a political transition.

The U.N.’s most powerful body backed the Gulf Cooperation Council’s transition plan, which calls for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign and hand over power to his vice president in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

In a statement Monday, the council expressed “grave concern at the continued serious deterioration of the economic and humanitarian situation in Yemen” and “at the worsening security situation, including the threat from al-Qaeda in parts of Yemen.”

Yemen has been wracked by violence since February when an uprising broke out to demand Mr. Saleh’s ouster. Government forces have killed hundreds in an attempt to stamp out the revolt.

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