Story highlights

President Ali Abdullah Saleh was in the United States for medical treatment

Yemen is expected to swear in its new president Saturday

Saleh led the country for 33 years

CNN —  

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has returned to his residence in Sanaa, a spokesman for the country’s embassy in Washington said late Friday.

Saleh had been in the United States for medical treatment for wounds suffered in a June assassination attempt at his presidential palace during battles between government troops and tribal fighters.

He was expected to return to Yemen in time for the inauguration of the next president.

Yemen is set to swear in its new president Saturday, cementing a power transfer deal reached in November to end months of protests and violence over outgoing Saleh’s longtime rule.

The president faced a separatist movement in the south, sectarian tensions in the north and the growing presence of what Western officials describe as al Qaeda’s most dangerous affiliate, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Saleh led Yemen for 33 years.

CNN’s Jamie Crawford contributed to this report.