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Monday
Oct102011

Yemeni Leader Again Hints at Leaving but Few Believe It

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANA'A, Yemen) -- Once again, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was gravely injured in an assassination attempt earlier in the year and recuperated in Saudi Arabia, is suggesting after returning to his homeland that he is willing to step down.

His latest suggestion sounded much like the first time Saleh discussed leaving office during the height of the civil unrest in Yemen that resulted in the bomb attack on his palace in Sana'a.

The opposition that desperately wants the Yemeni president to cede power will only believe the embattled leader's words when he hands over authority to a coalition government.

Saleh doesn't want anyone setting conditions for him, which is was why he turned down a deal crafted by Washington to step down.  It's a tricky proposition for the Obama administration since Saleh has been a strong ally in fighting al Qaeda even as he shows little regard for democracy.

Since Saleh came back to Yemen last month, violence has stirred up again with government crackdowns against dissident groups.

That's why few believe Saleh when he says, "I never wanted power.  I will reject power in the coming days.  I will give it up."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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