An official in Yemen's presidential office has told the state-run SABA news agency that President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was discharged from a Saudi hospital on Sunday after recovering from an assassination attempt, will return home "after a specified period of convalescence," according to Al Jazeera. The claim--which has been made by other Yemeni officials recently--comes as the Yemeni opposition, seven months into the uprising, still struggles to take power in his absence, announcing today that it will seek to establish an umbrella "national council" of official opposition parties and street protesters next week.
Only yesterday, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, citing U.S. officials, reported that Washington had convinced Saleh not to return to Yemen. The newspaper claimed that the spectacle of ousted Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak's trial had further persuaded Saleh to stay in Saudi Arabia rather than risk prosecution. Yemeni officials are denying the report, as the political gridlock persists, tensions between Saleh's troops loyal and pro-opposition tribesmen flare up, and fighting continues with Islamist militants in the south.