Report: Yemen's Saleh to return on July 17
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh plans to return to his country on July 17, Al Arabiya broadcaster reported Sunday, citing unidentified sources.
Saleh's return from a Saudi Arabian hospital, where he has been recovering from serious injuries suffered during an attack on his palace in early June, would mark the 33rd anniversary of his taking office, dpa reported.
Saleh is believed to have chosen that date to send a message that he is still the legitimate president of the country until September 2013, Al Arabiya reported.
An advisor to US President Barack Obama met with Saleh in Riyadh on Sunday, the White House said.
John Brennan, assistant to the president on counterterrorism and homeland security, wished the leader a speedy recovery, but also called on him to sign an agreement for political transition in Yemen.
"The United States believes that a transition in Yemen should begin immediately so that the Yemeni people can realize their aspirations," spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. The US is working with neighbouring countries and allies to ensure that aid will reach Yemen after the Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered agreement is signed, he said.
With burns clearly visible on his face and his arms bandaged, Saleh made his first televised address on television on Thursday, giving a defiant address.
Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters were angered by Saleh's speech, in which he called for a dialogue and power-sharing within the framework of the constitution and the laws of the country.
Since February, millions of Yemenis have been demanding the ouster of Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years.