A senior Yemeni official said on Tuesday that President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been undergoing treatment in Saudi Arabia following his injury in an attack earlier this month, will return to the Sanaa Friday. Ahmed Al-Sufi, the presidential media adviser, conveyed that preparations are taking place in Sana'a to receive Saleh on Friday.
Sources within the ruling Congress Party said it plans to hold huge celebrations on the occasion of Saleh's return with the expected participation of tens of thousands of his supporters. This is the first time Yemeni officials conveyed a specific date for the return of Saleh, after doubts were raised regarding the possibility of his return. The sources said the Saudi doctors who were responsible for overseeing the treatment of the Yemeni leader gave him a "green light" to return to Sana'a.
For his part, Yasser Al Yamani, a leader in the ruling party and a prominent aide to Yemeni President, said: "The return of Saleh to Yemen is not a surprise. We have repeatedly stated in the past that he had traveled for medical treatment, and like any other president in the world is expected to return to his homeland; to continue to exercise his duties."
Hassan Zaid, a leader in the opposition, described the news regarding the return as "just rumors," saying: "The ruling party is creative in spreading lies. For this reason, we do not take them seriously."