Backers of Yemen's Saleh warn of coup

Aug. 12, 2011 at 10:24 AM
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SANAA, Yemen, Aug. 12 (UPI) -- A national council proposed by the Yemeni opposition will either be dead on arrival or be viewed as a call for war, a government minister said.

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was released this week from a hospital in Saudi Arabia more than two months after he suffered injuries in an attack on his presidential compound. There were mixed reports on whether his return to Yemen was imminent, though Washington said any political developments in the country should move on without him.

Deputy Information Minister Abdo al-Ganadi said any plans from opposition groups to form a national council, however, would be considered a coup.

"This council will either be born dead, as happened before, or will be a call for war," he was quoted by the official Saba news agency as saying.

Saleh said he supports, but hasn't signed, deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council to step down. Members of his government maintain the president is still the legitimate leader until the country elects a different president.

"The president is still in Saudi Arabia for recuperation," the information minister added. "He will come back home when doctors allow him."

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