News / Middle East

Yemen's President Remains in Oman, Departure for US Uncertain

Outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks to the press at the presidential palace in Sana'a, January 22, 2012.
Outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks to the press at the presidential palace in Sana'a, January 22, 2012.

Outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh remains in the Persian Gulf sultanate of Oman and it is unclear when his planned trip to the United States for medical treatment will take place.

An official at the Yemeni embassy in Washington told VOA Thursday he has no information on when Saleh might arrive. Mohammed Albasha also denied an article in The Wall Street Journal saying the president's family is searching for a plane to fly him to New York.

The article said Saleh’s presidential plane, an aging Boeing 727, is prohibited from landing at U.S. airports. Albasha said President Saleh does have access to a plane that can fly him to the United States. He departed the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, Sunday on a jet for neighboring Oman, where he said he would stop for a brief period before traveling on to New York.

Media reports citing diplomats in Oman and aides to Saleh say he is trying to secure approval from the Omani ruler for permanent exile, but Albasha "strongly" denied the speculation.

A source close to the negotiations that led to Saleh's departure told the French news agency that if Saleh does eventually arrive in the U.S. he will stay until at least February 21, the day presidential elections are scheduled for Yemen. AFP quotes the source as saying Saleh will "not be admitted to a hospital but will see consultants in New York."

The U.S. has said Saleh's request to travel to the United States was approved for the sole purpose of medical treatment, and that his stay would be for a "limited time."

The embattled leader was severely wounded in a bomb attack on his presidential compound last June and spent several months recuperating in Saudi Arabia. He has spoken previously of a desire to seek further treatment in the United States.

In a televised farewell speech just hours before he left Yemen, the outgoing president asked his people to forgive him for any "shortcomings" made during his 33-year autocratic rule. He also vowed to return to the country and continue leading his ruling General People's Congress party.

Yemeni opposition activists have staged a year of mass protests demanding his immediate ouster, inspired by popular uprisings in other parts of the region. Thousands of Yemenis rallied in Sana'a Sunday, calling for Saleh to be put on trial for a violent crackdown in which hundreds of people have been killed.

The anti-Saleh protesters reject granting Saleh full immunity from prosecution. Yemen's parliament approved the immunity last week as part of a Gulf Cooperation Council-backed deal to encourage the president to leave office. Saleh signed the plan last November and agreed to transfer presidential powers to his deputy ahead of the February 21 elections to pick his successor.

Yemeni Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is the consensus candidate of Yemen's ruling party and parliamentary opposition for that election.

Reuters reported that at least 22 people were killed Thursday in clashes between Shi'ite Muslim rebels and fighters from a Sunni Islamist group in a province under rebel control in the country's rugged north.

A source close to the Houthi rebels told Reuters that Salafist fighters attacked them overnight in Hajja and in the Kataf area of Saada province, a location that has seen intense sectarian fighting in recent months.

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

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid