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Hours After Return, Yemen's President Calls for Truce

Yemeni men hold up portraits of President Ali Abdullah Saleh as they celebrate his return to Sana'a after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, even as his forces were battling dissident troops in the capital, September 23, 2011.

Hours after returning Friday, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh called for a truce and talks to end his country's political crisis.

The call was issued by his office after Saleh had spent three months in Saudi Arabia recovering from injuries sustained in an attack on his presidential compound in Sana'a.

In his statement, Saleh said that dialogue is the only way to end the escalating crisis between his government and opponents who have increased calls for his departure. For months, demonstrators have been demanding his removal from office and hundreds have been killed in the violence.

In recent days, Yemen's political parties said they were working on a plan to force Mr. Saleh out of power.

Earlier this week, representatives of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) met with Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi in Sana'a in an attempt to revive a long-stalled plan that calls for President Saleh to hand over power to a deputy.

Saleh has agreed to the proposal three times since April. However, in each case, he has backed out before a deal could be signed.

There was no previous announcement of his impending return. Saudi officials had said previously that it was unlikely Saleh would come back to Yemen.

Saleh's return has come on the heels of five days of clashes, between pro- and anti-government forces, that left nearly 100 people dead. There were reports of fresh clashes in Sana'a on Friday, shortly after his return.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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