Saleh seeks power-sharing arrangement

July 7, 2011 at 4:05 PM
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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, July 7 (UPI) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, speaking Thursday for the first time since an assassination attempt, offered to share power in a bid to remain in office.

"We are not against participation, we are for participation with all political powers, whether they are in opposition or ruling, but in the light of a program which the people agree upon," Saleh said in recorded television appearance. It was his first statement since he was injured June 3 in an attack on the al-Nahdain mosque at the presidential compound, the Yemen Observer reported.

Condemning the terrorist elements behind the attack, Saleh asked, "Where are the conscious people? Where are the honest people? Where are the believers and the men who fear Allah? Why don't they stand with dialogue? They should stand with dialogue so we can find solutions.

"Our people will remain steadfast to face all challenges that target security and stability, democracy and cut roads, blocking oil and gas, petroleum, and disturbing the security situation."

Saleh said he underwent eight operations in Saudi Arabia to treat burns suffered during the attack, adding 87 other Yemeni officials, including the speaker of Parliament, had operations to treat injuries sustained June 3.

The Yemen Post reported Saleh looked "darker than usual" because of the burns and at times had difficulty breathing.

"We received great treatment and this is not new from our friendly neighbor" Saudi Arabia, the Post quoted Saleh as saying.

Fireworks and live ammunition were fired into the air across Yemeni cities following the address, the Yemen Observer said.

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