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Yemen's parties, social and religious groups meet for 1st time to discuss new political system

Yemen's political parties, religious and social groups have opened a national dialogue on the country's future political system, new constitution and its transition to democracy following the 2011 uprising.

The U.N.-backed gathering on Monday in the capital, Sanaa, is the first such meeting in decades.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi told the participants that the new Yemen will no longer be ruled by "one family, tribe, region, or sect." Instead, he said, "justice and equality must prevail."

Yemen has been struggling with the transition since mass protests forced former autocratic ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

Yemen is the Arab world poorest nation and has been plagued by scores of issues, including an al-Qaida insurgency and a strong separatist movement in the south.