Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

#MeToo and #BalanceTonPorc expose extent of sexual harassment

Read more

ENCORE!

Musical maestro Philippe Jordan on bringing passion to the Paris Opera

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Black day for democracy': Malta in mourning after top journalist is murdered

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Has the Weinstein scandal 'freed' women from their silence?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Europe’s newest face: Kurz’s election win indicates rightward shift for Austria

Read more

FOCUS

Turkey's brain drain: Turning their backs on limited freedom, declining economy

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Internet giants: Too big to be taxed?

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU’s Karl-Heinz Lambertz: ‘Empowering regions and cities very important for Europe’s future’

Read more

ENCORE!

Music show: Client Liaison, Boyz II Men & Jessie Ware

Read more

Middle east

President Saleh leaves Yemen for US medical treatment

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-01-25

President Ali Abdullah Saleh left Yemen for medical treatment in the US Wednesday amid speculation about his political future. Following months of protests, Saleh agreed in November to transfer power in exchange for immunity from prosecution.

AFP - Veteran Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh flew to the United States for medical treatment on Wednesday as his country prepared for elections next month for his successor, an Omani official said.

Saleh had been in the Gulf sultanate since Sunday with his wife and five of his children amid mounting speculation about his future.

Ali Abdullah Saleh talks to FRANCE 24 (22/01/2012)

After months of stalling, the Yemeni leader finally signed up to a Gulf-brokered transfer of power deal in November under which an early presidential election is due to be held on February 21.

Despite strong criticism from demonstrators who have kept up 12 months of protests against Saleh's regime, Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi is expected to be the sole candidate under the deal struck with the parliamentary opposition.

Saleh suffered severe blast wounds from a bombing at the presidential palace in June last year and is scheduled to receive treatment at a New York hospital.

US ambassador Gerald M Feierstein said on Tuesday that Saleh had been granted a visa for purely medical reasons, but that his absence in the run-up to the election of his successor was in the interests of Yemen.

"We think that him not being here will help the transition, we think it will improve the atmosphere," the ambassador said.

Saleh had been expected to travel to New York for treatment late last year, but aides said he cancelled the trip at the request of his General People's Congress party.

Late last week, parliament approved a controversial bill granting Saleh blanket immunity from prosecution. He has been in power in Sanaa since 1978.

Feierstein said the decision to offer him immunity was key to ending the political crisis and avoiding civil war.

In response to a question, the State Department said "Saleh is still the president of Yemen and will be accorded those privileges and immunities accorded to any head of state until a new Yemeni president is sworn in following elections on February 21."

The Yemeni embassy in Washington said Saleh will, following "a private medical visit" to the United States, return to "Yemen in February to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the newly elected president."
 

Date created : 2012-01-22

  • YEMEN

    Yemen's President Saleh backtracks on exile decision

    Read more

  • YEMEN

    Saleh signs power transfer deal after months of unrest

    Read more

  • YEMEN

    EXCLUSIVE: Yemen's Saleh 'to step down within 90 days'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)