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Yemeni President vows to return soon

08-18-2011 09:53 BJT

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Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said on Tuesday he would return home "soon" from his convalescence in Saudi Arabia.

In a speech broadcast live to a gathering of tribesmen loyal to Saleh, he invited the opposition to go to the ballot box to end Yemen's political crisis, which has dragged into its seventh month.

Ali Abdullah Saleh said, "Come with us to the ballot boxes, every democratic country in the world passes through a crisis; crises happen everywhere. The opposition is asking for early elections but they asked for the establishment of a National Council and a presidential council, and a military council and to correct the past - but we have legitimacy till 2013. I wanted to leave in 2006 but it was the great Yemeni public that compelled us to stay and so we sacrificed for Yemen and will continue to sacrifice for Yemen."

Saleh's speech was watched by an audience of some 6-thousand tribesmen in the Yemeni capital. Saleh also said he was prepared to hand over power "via elections, not via coups", and he is willing to hand over power to his vice president if the armed tribal fighters who support the protesters are pulled from the streets and the opposition ends its demonstrations.

Yemen is reeling from six months of mass street protests calling for Saleh's ouster, and there are fears that his return to the country could spark a civil war.



Editor:Liu Fang |Source: CNTV.CN

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