Yemen president to appear in media within 48 hours

SANAA Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:50am EDT

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SANAA (Reuters) - Wounded Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has not been seen in public since an attack on his palace earlier this month, will make a media appearance within 48 hours, his media secretary said on Sunday.

"The president will appear within the next 48 hours despite our fear that the burns on his features and on different parts of his body will be an obstacle, given that his appearance will not be as the media expects it," said Ahmed al-Sufi in a statement.

Saleh, 69, was forced after the attack to seek treatment in a Saudi hospital. In the days after the bombing of a mosque within the presidential palace, Saleh delivered a brief audio message via television.

Sufi said the president was in good health and continued to direct Yemeni affairs from Saudi Arabia.

"The arrangements are currently being made for this appearance, which will definitely be followed by important media events," he said.

Months of protests against Saleh's 33-year rule have sparked deadly clashes between the President's followers and opponents, bringing the country to a standstill and raising concerns that militants will exploit the unrest to gain a foothold in the impoverished state.

(Reporting by Mohamed Sudam, Writing by Isabel Coles; editing by David Stamp)

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