Saleh vows to return to Yemen

The Yemeni President vows to return soon to the country from Saudi Arabia, saying he will continue as president until at least 2013.

saleh 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
saleh 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he will return to Yemen soon.

As the call for him to leave office continues, he has been in Saudi Arabia recovering from an assassination attempt.

In the TV address, Saleh vows to continue as president until at least 2013.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said, "Come with us to the ballot boxes, every democratic country in the world passes through crisis; crisis happens in all places. The opposition are asking for early elections but they ask for the establishment of a National Council and a presidential council, and a military council and to correct the past. We have legitimacy untill 2013. It (the election) cannot be before 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 tenacity has frustrated thousands of Yemenis who thought they had seen the last of him.

"Goodbye and we shall meet in the capital Yemen, soon," said Saleh.

But he does have his supporters. Thousands of tribesmen watching his address in Sanaa erupted in cheers at the prospect that he would come home.