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Yemen's president confers with party officials amid pressure to depart

From Hakim Almasmari, For CNN
Yemeni men and children hold up portraits of President Ali Abdullah Saleh during a pro-regime rally in Sanaa on July 1, 2011.
Yemeni men and children hold up portraits of President Ali Abdullah Saleh during a pro-regime rally in Sanaa on July 1, 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Saleh met with party officials in Saudi Arabia, where he was treated for wounds
  • The president is under "immense pressure" to accept transition, a party official said
  • Saleh is amenable to working on a "peaceful and smooth" transfer, news agency said
RELATED TOPICS

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) -- Yemen's embattled president has been huddling with members of his ruling party in neighboring Saudi Arabia as world and regional powers press for an end to the political crisis in his country and a smooth transition of political power.

Ali Abdullah Saleh met on Wednesday with officials and leaders of his ruling General People's Congress party, the state-run news agency SABA and a high-level party official said

This comes amid "Immense pressure from the international community" to accept an agreement for a transition of power, the official told CNN.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, a group of Gulf Arab states, has come up with a plan to ease Saleh out of office, a move that would placate widespread anti-government sentiment in the impoverished Arab nation.

The official said Salehwants to make sure he consults senior party officials before he would sign a power transfer deal.

Saleh and other top Yemeni officials were badly injured in June during an assassination attempt on the presidential palace amid a tribal revolt against his 32-year rule. Saleh was taken to Saudi Arabia for treatment.

SABA reported on Thursday that the party officials congratulated Saleh and others for their recovery and on the advent of the holy month of Ramadan.

The president and the others reviewed conditions in Saudi Arabia and touched on the Security Council statement, SABA reported.

Saleh underscored the GPC's commitment for ways to solve disagreements with the opposition.

"He underlined the significance of keeping on the positive dealing with the Gulf initiative and to look for the appropriate mechanism to be carried out and to ensure peaceful and smooth transfer of power in accordance with the constitution," SABA said.

Yemen has endured months of protests and militant violence.

Protests against Saleh began in January after the successful uprising in Tunisia triggered regionwide reform movements. The protests led to open street battles after Saleh balked at the political transition deal.

At the same time, the government has also faced off with Islamic militants, including the al Qaeda wing in Yemen, regarded by analysts as a potent and dangerous group.

Saleh had been discharged from a military hospital, but it was not clear when he would return to Yemen.

Saleh's vice president, Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has been running the government since then.

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