Washington: Yemen’s clash will not end unless President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his government make way for the opposition to begin a political transition,US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Thursday.

Clinton's repeated strong US backing for proposals by Yemen’s wealthy Gulf Arab neighbors that would see Saleh leave office in return for a promise of immunity from prosecution. Saleh has balked at signing them.

“We cannot expect this conflict to end unless President Saleh and his government move out of the way to permit the opposition and civil society to begin a transition to political and economic reform,” the chief US diplomat said.

“If it wasn’t obvious before, it certainly should be now that his presence remains a source of great conflict and unfortunately, as we have watched over the last several days, even, you know, military action and violence,” she said.

“Gun battles raged Wednesday on the streets of Yemen’s capital killing 39 people, witnesses said as a truce between security forces and tribesmen collapsed, residents fled and embassies bolted their doors.

Clinton spoke to journalists along with Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota.