Conflict & Justice

Yemen: President Saleh makes first TV appearance since injury (VIDEO)

Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh reportedly made his first television appearance Thursday since being badly injured during an attack on his presidential compound's mosque a month ago.

In the appearance, which was prerecorded, Saleh's face looked darkened from burns, his hands were bandaged and his head was covered with a red Saudi headdress, Al Jazeera reports. The speech was broadcast on Yemeni television from Saudi Arabia, where Saleh has been hospitalized and recovering from the June 3 attack.

(From GlobalPost in Damascus: A Syrian soldier speaks)

In the speech, Saleh says he has undergone more than eight successful operations. He does not mention if or when he would return to Yemen.

He also calls for dialogue with the warring factions in Yemen. Yemen has faced four months of a popular uprising in which Saleh's opponents have fought to push him from power.

"Where are the men who fear God? Why don't they stand with dialogue and with reaching satisfactory solutions?" Saleh said.

He calls for talks with the opposition but offers no hint that he'll listen to their demands to step aside, Bloomberg reports.

“Yemen’s people are defiant and will remain defiant against all challenges that threaten its stability and security, freedom and democracy,” he said.

The televised appearance is likely to further divide those in Yemen, the New York Times reports.

"Saleh’s televised appearance comes amid growing political uncertainty in the impoverished nation and appeared likely to embolden Mr. Saleh’s supporters while angering the thousands of protesters still massed in the streets of the capital, Sana, calling for him to resign," it states.

Saleh's absence from Yemen has not led to a political transition that many including the United States have hoped for. Instead, it has only served to prolong the nation's political crisis.

When the speech finished, Saleh's supported celebrated in the streets with fireworks and bursts of gunfire.

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