RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Aug. 31 (UPI) -- A disease is spreading among the minds of anti-government protesters in Yemen, the embattled Yemeni president said from Saudi Arabia.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh remains in Saudi Arabia nearly four months after he suffered grave injuries in a June 3 attack on his presidential compound in Sanaa.
In a message to Yemeni nationals in Riyadh, the president called for perseverance and patience while his regime navigated a political crisis that's lasted most of the year.
Saleh refuses to stand down despite mounting international and domestic pressure to let go of power after roughly 30 years. In his speech, Saleh blamed the country's problems on "hatred, envy (and) chronic disease," according to the transcript published by the state-run Saba news agency.
He claims protesters supporting student demonstrators are bent on bringing in another regime "filled with corruption."
"They were a burden on the political system," he said of the protesters.
Saleh in statements made earlier this week authorized his ruling General People's Congress to negotiate with the opposition leaders in Yemen, Western diplomats and his Arab counterparts to start talks on a possible transition.