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Politics held hostage in Yemen, U.S. says

Aug. 10, 2011 at 1:05 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The democratic process in Yemen shouldn't be held in limbo while the country's president weighs his options from Saudi Arabia, a U.S. official said.

There are conflicting reports about whether Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is to return to Yemen after his release from a hospital in Saudi Arabia. He was wounded in a June 3 attack on his presidential compound and only recently released.

Saleh has faced mounting pressure to resign after enduring months of political opposition at home. He had said he supports a resignation plan brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council but has refused to sign the measure.

Victoria Nuland, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, said democratic processes in Yemen shouldn't be "held hostage" while the president weighs his options.

"Our view is that Yemen needs to move in a democratic direction along the lines of the GCC report," she said. "How that happens is up to the Yemeni people but it's got to happen."

Officials in Saleh's ruling General People's Congress maintain he is the legitimate leader until the country has presidential elections.

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