x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Recovering Saleh to return to Yemen 'soon'

The Yemeni president has been convalescing in Saudi Arabia after suffering injuries in a mosque blast amid a national uprising calling for his ouster.

SANAA // Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been receiving treatment for blast wounds in Saudi Arabia since early June, will return "soon," deputy information minister Abdo al-Janadi said Saturday.

"The president is in good health. He will return to Yemen soon, but is awaiting the decision of his doctors," Janadi told a news conference, without specifying a date for Saleh's return.

Saleh, who has been in power since 1978, was wounded in a bomb attack on his palace in Sanaa on June 3, and was admitted to hospital in Saudi Arabia the following day. Demonstrators have since January been calling for him to quit office.

He appeared on television on July 7 for the first time since the attack, covered in bandages.

Three days later, he was shown on television receiving John Brennan, US President Barack Obama's top counter-terrorism adviser. Saleh was in better shape than in his earlier appearance, although burns were still visible on his face.

The White House said that Brennan had called on Saleh during the meeting to sign a Gulf-sponsored transition plan that would see him cede power within 30 days in exchange for immunity from prosecution.