After months in Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni leader flew back to Sana'a and called for a cease-fire
Protesters with posters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh / Reuters
Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh unexpectedly returned to his country on Friday after spending months in Saudi Arabia recovering from an attempt on his life. He appears to be clinging to power despite a mass uprising and calls from the U.S. and allies for him to step down.
In his first statement since his return, Saleh called for a cease-fire, maintaining that the crisis in Yemen will only be resolved through negotiations, according to the Associated Press.
Saleh has promised to resign on several occassions, only to ultimately change his mind. He has backed out of signing an agreement brokered by Gulf states at least three times since April. It is unclear how his return -- which was marked by gunfire and explosions, according to Reuters -- will affect those talks. With more than 100 people killed just this week, violence is expected to escalate with Saleh back in the country.
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"The protesters will be very angry, we thought he was done. ... We're going to see big crowds today on both sides," one protester told Reuters. "I'm actually glad he's back -- better that we have the regime here to topple."