|Yemen has been rocked by anti-government street protests for months [EPA]|
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni president hospitalised in the Saudi capital for weeks after sustaining wounds in an attack on his palace, will speak on television soon to reassure his people about his health, AFP news agency has quoted a senior official as saying.
Abdo al-Janadi, the deputy information minister, said on Tuesday a team from Yemen had travelled to Riyadh to conduct an interview with the president.
“A team from Yemeni television headed to Riyadh on Monday to carry out an interview with the president, expected to be aired after Thursday,” al-Janadi said.
“In this interview, Saleh will address the Yemeni people to reassure them about his health.”
The minister did not discuss the president’s condition.
The ruling General People’s Congress party, on its website almotamar.net, said the president in his television interview would address “the coming phase in Yemen and the steps expected for political reform”.
Ahmed al-Sufi, a senior aide to Saleh, had earlier said on Sunday that the president would appear on television “within next 48 hours”.
Saleh, 69, was flown to Riyadh on June 4 for treatment following an attack on his presidential compound in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.
The veteran leader has faced nearly six months of street protests against his 33-year-long autocratic rule.
He has not appeared in public since the attack which killed 11 people and wounded 124 others, among them senior officials.
In his absence, Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, the vice-president, has come under pressure from the parliamentary opposition and the West to assume power, while protesters demand he form an interim ruling council.
But Janadi has ruled out any transfer of power in Yemen while Saleh remains hospitalised in Saudi Arabia.