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Monday, June 13, 2011

Yemen’s Saleh to address nation as opposition to meet Vice President on power transfer

Yemen’s wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh, recovering in a Riyadh hospital from a bomb blast, is to address his people “very soon,” the defense ministry’s website reported on Monday.

The Yemeni opposition, meanwhile, will start talks on Monday with Vice President Mansur Hadi about a transfer of power, Al Arabiya reported, citing the head of the Joint Meeting opposition bloc.

Health Minister Abdul Karim Rasei, who visited Mr. Saleh on Saturday, said the embattled president would “very soon speak directly through the media to the Yemeni people,” the website reported.
The president, wounded in an attack on the mosque in his palace compound in Sana’a on June 3, is “improving each day and is in good health,” said the minister.

President Saleh, who has faced four months of protests calling for his ouster, was flown to Riyadh for treatment a day after the explosion.

On Saturday, an informed Yemeni source in Riyadh said the 69-year-old leader was in poor condition and suffering breathing problems, according to Agence-France Presse.

But reported that Mr. Rasei had “spoken with the president, who seemed in good health,” adding that President Saleh and other senior officials wounded in the attack were all out of danger.

Eleven people were killed and 124 others wounded, according to Yemeni officials, in the impoverished country of 24 million people.

(Abeer Tayel, a senior editor at Al Arabiya,

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