News / Middle East

Yemen's Saleh Leaves for US Medical Visit

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

Outgoing Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is heading to the United States for medical treatment after asking his people to forgive him for any "shortcomings" during his 33-year rule.

Saleh departed the Yemeni capital, Sana'a, Sunday on a jet for the Persian Gulf sultanate of Oman, where he is expected to stay for a short time before traveling on to New York.

A U.S. State Department release Sunday noted that Saleh's request to travel to the United States had been approved for the sole purpose of medical treatment, and that his stay will be for a limited time.

In a televised farewell speech just hours before he left, the Yemeni leader asked his people to forgive him for mistakes made during his autocratic rule. He also vowed to return to Yemen and continue leading his ruling (General People's Congress) party.

Saleh 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.

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 on 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 Saturday 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 February elections that will 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.

In Saleh's meeting with party officials, Yemeni state media said he declared Hadi responsible for the country and promoted the vice president to the military rank of field marshal.

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

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

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake 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.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid