AFP
Last updated: 16 August, 2011

Saleh vows to return soon

President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Tuesday he will return “soon” to Yemen and lambasted his opponents, in a speech aired on state television from Riyadh where has been recovering from bomb blast wounds.

“See you soon in the capital Sanaa,” he said, in an address to a meeting of his supporters.

Saleh belittled the parliamentary opposition as figures of “narrow interests and lack of thinking,” and accused them of “stealing” the slogans of young protesters who have been calling for his ouster since January.

The opposition are made up of the “leftovers of Marxists, the Taliban and the imamate,” Yemen’s ousted monarchist rulers, he said.

Parliament’s Common Forum opposition is due to meet on Wednesday to elect an umbrella “national council” aimed at taking over power in the absence of the president.

Saleh, who appeared in good shape, was addressing thousands of loyalist tribesmen at a meeting to “help resolve the crisis” in Yemen, according to state news agency Saba.

He was flown to Saudi Arabia in early June for treatment after being wounded in a bomb attack on his Sanaa presidential compound.