Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said Saturday he would go to the United States in order to allow an interim government to prepare for an election to replace him, but did not specify when he would leave.

Saleh, speaking to reporters after forces loyal to him fired at protesters demanding he face trial for killing demonstrators over 11 months of protests, said he had no designs on staying in power.

I will go to the United States. Not for treatment, because I'm fine, but to get away from attention, cameras, and allow the unity government to prepare properly for elections, he said.

I'll be there for several days, but I'll return because I won't leave my people and comrades who have been steadfast for 11 months, he said. I'll withdraw from political work and go into the street as part of the opposition.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Joseph Logan)