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Friday prayers in Sana’a remain steady

By NY Staff

A number of political parties have threatened to not participate in the planned National Dialogue Conference unless former president Ali Abdullah Saleh has departed from Yemen. Saleh, who is expected to leave Yemen soon, is understood to wield great influence on Yemeni political affairs.

A source at the presidential compound in Sana’a has stated that Saleh is preparing to leave for Saudi Arabia for medical treatment before the National Dialogue begins.

“There are plans for Saleh to travel either to Saudi Arabia, the U.S. or Italy for medical treatment, but it is not based on any political agreement – and his travel date has not yet been determined,” said the source.

Saleh’s opponents have said that his absence would enhance opportunities for success in reconciliation talks aimed at achieving stability in Yemen.

For his part, Ahmed Al-Soufi, Saleh’s secretary, stated that Saleh would not leave Yemen under any pressure.

“He held a meeting with the GPC General Committee, reviewed political updates on the Yemeni scene and discussed issues related to preparations for the National Dialogue,” he said.

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