Monday, July 18th, 2011
Yemen's wounded president Ali Abdullah Saleh has marked the 33rd anniversary of his rise to power by calling for “peaceful dialogue” to end the nation's political statement.
Mr. Saleh's comments came in an editorial published Monday in several state newspapers, one day after the anniversary of his taking office in 1978. He is recovering in Saudi Arabia from wounds and burns suffered last month in a bomb attack on his palace compound.
Mr. Saleh has refused to leave office despite international pressures and months of opposition rallies demanding his resignation. In his editorial comments, he again called for political dialogue but was unspecific as he has been in the past.
Opposition groups have rejected the overtures after Mr. Saleh failed to meet the conditions of transitional plans offered by Gulf countries and backed by Western powers.
Mr. Saleh did not mention when or whether he will return to Yemen. The government has been led in his absence by his deputy, Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
His comments come as Yemeni forces backed by hundreds of armed tribesmen continued their offensive to retake the southern town of Zinjibar, after months of fighting with Islamist fighters.