SANAA, (AFP) — President Ali Abdullah Saleh is to speak on television within days to reassure Yemenis on his health, three weeks after being hospitalised in Riyadh with bomb blast wounds, a senior official said on Tuesday.
“A team from Yemeni television headed to Riyadh on Monday to carry out an interview with the president, expected to be aired after Thursday,” the deputy information minister, Abdo al-Janadi, told AFP.
“In this interview, Saleh will address the Yemeni people to reassure them about his health,” said Janadi.
Yemen’s embattled leader, Saleh, 69, was flown on June 4 to Riyadh for treatment from wounds sustained in a bomb blast in the mosque of his presidential compound in Sanaa.
The ruling General People’s Congress party, on its website almotamar.net, said the president in his television interview would address “the coming phase in Yemen and the steps expected for political reform.”
The veteran leader has faced nearly six months of street protests against his 33-year-long autocratic rule. He has not appeared in public since the bomb attack which killed 11 people and wounded 124 others, among them senior officials.
In his absence, Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has come under pressure from the parliamentary opposition and the West to assume power, while protesters demand he form an interim ruling council.
But Janadi has ruled out any transfer of power in Yemen while Saleh remains hospitalised in Saudi Arabia.