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Entries in Ali Abdullah Saleh (20)

Friday
Feb242012

Saleh Leaves U.S. Following Medical Treatment

File photo. Marcel Mettelsiefen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh left the United States on Thursday after being allowed into the country for medical treatment to injuries he sustained last year during an attack on his compound. A U.S. official confirms to ABC News that Saleh flew to Ethiopia, as few countries remain unwilling to take him in.

Longtime Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi will be inaugurated as the country’s president on Monday, part of a two-year transition deal arranged by the Gulf countries that put an end to Saleh’s 33-year rule.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb212012

Yemenis Head to the Polls; Arab Spring Claims Another Dictator

The Arab world's first female Nobel peace laureate, Tawakkul Karman, flashes victory sign and shows her ink-stained thumb after casting her vote outside a polling station in Sana'a. GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANA'A, Yemen) -- Yemenis took to the polls Tuesday to elect Ali Abdullah Saleh’s successor, officially making Saleh the fourth Arab leader to be ousted in the Arab Spring. But there was only one candidate on the ballot: Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Still, the “election” was less about the poll itself than getting Saleh out of office after 33 years in power.  U.S.-backed Hadi, who has been vice president since 1994, will be elected to a two-year transitional term during which time he has promised to restructure the armed forces, fight al Qaeda and implement political and economic reforms.

“I say farewell to the authority,” read a statement from Saleh on state TV on Monday. “I remain with you a citizen loyal to his homeland, his people and his nation as you have known me through thick and thin…I will perform my duty and my role in serving the country and its just causes…”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jan302012

Yemeni President in US for Medical Treatment

Marcel Mettelsiefen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Last year, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was nearly killed in an assassination attempt.

Over the weekend, he arrived in the U.S. for further medical treatment, a situation that doesn't please human rights activists who claim he deserves no special treatment for leading a repressive regime.

Saleh's arrival at an undisclosed location in the U.S. followed months of medical care in Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. decision to accept Saleh has made his enemies at home furious because they blame the president for hundreds of deaths resulting from last year's government crackdown on protesters.  Many want Saleh returned to Yemen to stand trial.

Washington's relationship with the outgoing president has been problematic since his autocratic regime was crucial in keeping al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in check.  The group has plotted several failed attacks on U.S. interests, including the attempted 2009 Christmas Day bombing of Detroit-bound plane.

Saleh plans to step down in February after an agreement with pro-democracy dissidents that will end his 33-year-long regime and hand over the reins of power to Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Haid ahead of national elections to pick a successor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Jan212012

Yemen's President Seeks Medical Treatment in the US

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The Obama administration is reluctantly allowing Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh to enter the United States sometime this week,  a U.S. official tells ABC News.

Saleh is expected to receive a U.S. visa on Saturday and will likely depart Yemen for neighboring Oman on Sunday, the official said. He is expected to arrive in the United States later in the week.

It is unclear how long Saleh would stay in the U.S., though the spokesman for the Yemeni embassy in Washington tweeted this morning that Saleh had no plans to relocate permanently outside of Yemen or to seek political asylum in the U.S.

A spokesman for the State Department did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Saleh had applied for a U.S. visa weeks ago, citing a desire to seek medical treatment, but U.S. officials sat on it, trying to find somewhere else in the region that would accept him. They found no takers.

Saleh has repeatedly balked after pledging to step aside last year.

Ultimately the U.S. official said the Obama administration determined it was better to get President Saleh out of Yemen, where he is viewed as a destabilizing figure as the country attempts to transition from decades under his rule, and to deal with any blowback from allowing him onto U.S. soil.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Dec272011

Report: Yemeni President to Receive Medical Treatment in NYC

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The New York Times reported Monday night that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh will receive medical treatment in New York City for serious injuries he sustained last June during an assassination attempt on his life in Sana.

The decision to allow Saleh into the U.S. could prove problematic for the White House, since he remains the target of pro-democracy protesters who have accused him of ordering hundreds of deaths since a government crackdown earlier in the year.

While the Times quoted an Obama administration source for its information regarding Saleh, White House officials accompanying President Obama in Hawaii have disputed the accuracy of the story.

Deputy Press Secretary Josh Ernest said, "U.S. officials are continuing to consider President Saleh's request to enter the country for the sole purpose of seeking medical treatment, but initial reports that permission has already been granted are not true."

On the other hand, allowing the Yemeni leader into the U.S. for medical care, the Times said, could hasten free elections scheduled for next year and possibly end the political upheaval that threatens to further empower al Qaeda, which is already strong in Yemen -- if those who are ultimately elected don't share an agenda with the Islamic militant group.

Meanwhile, activists opposed to the Saleh regime have asserted they would demand the U.S. return their president to Yemen for prosecution if he should be treated by doctors in New York City.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec262011

White House: No Decision Yet on Yemeni President's Visit

Marcel Mettelsiefen/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The White House is considering Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s request to visit the United States for medical treatment, but has made no decision.

According to a senior administration official, Saleh’s office contacted the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, saying the Yemeni leader wants to visit to receive specialized medical care for injuries he suffered in a terrorist attack on the presidential palace in June.

On Saturday, Saleh told reporters he is heading for the U.S., but did not specify when he plans to leave or where exactly he intends to go. Saleh said he was in good health, but wanted to visit to get out of the spotlight and “allow the unity government to prepare properly for elections.”

The Obama administration would only allow Saleh to visit for legitimate medical treatment.

On Christmas day, President Obama’s chief counterterrorism advisor John Brennan called Yemeni Vice President Abdo Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi to discuss the recent outbreak of violence in Sanaa, where forces loyal to the Saleh opened fire on protesters, killing nine people and wounding many more.

Saleh agreed last month to step down to make way for new elections in February.

The White House is pushing for Yemeni security forces to show restraint, and says Vice President Hadi assured Brennan he would “do his utmost to prevent further bloodshed.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest said, “Mr. Brennan told Vice President Hadi that the United States remains a strong and fervent supporter of the Yemeni people in their quest to realize their richly deserved aspirations for security, political stability, representative government, and economic prosperity.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct102011

Yemeni Leader Again Hints at Leaving but Few Believe It

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANA'A, Yemen) -- Once again, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was gravely injured in an assassination attempt earlier in the year and recuperated in Saudi Arabia, is suggesting after returning to his homeland that he is willing to step down.

His latest suggestion sounded much like the first time Saleh discussed leaving office during the height of the civil unrest in Yemen that resulted in the bomb attack on his palace in Sana'a.

The opposition that desperately wants the Yemeni president to cede power will only believe the embattled leader's words when he hands over authority to a coalition government.

Saleh doesn't want anyone setting conditions for him, which is was why he turned down a deal crafted by Washington to step down.  It's a tricky proposition for the Obama administration since Saleh has been a strong ally in fighting al Qaeda even as he shows little regard for democracy.

Since Saleh came back to Yemen last month, violence has stirred up again with government crackdowns against dissident groups.

That's why few believe Saleh when he says, "I never wanted power.  I will reject power in the coming days.  I will give it up."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Sep232011

President Saleh Returns to Yemen After Three Months

GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANA'A, Yemen) -- Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has returned to Sana’a after three months in Saudi Arabia, according to Yemen State TV and the Yemen Embassy in Washington.

State TV reports that Saleh arrived by private plane early Friday morning and is in good health.

The embassy statement reads: “Abdullah Saleh, President of the Republic of Yemen returned to Yemen after a three month long medical stay in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”

Saleh has been in Saudi Arabia since June for medical treatment following an assassination attempt -- a bomb attack on the presidential palace that reportedly left the aging president severely injured.

The announcement of his return comes amid a violent week in Yemen.  Over 100 unarmed protesters have been killed this week by the elite Republican Guards, government forces led by Saleh’s son, according to reports.

Yemen TV is filling its early Friday morning broadcast with images of Saleh supporters, but his return could spark further violence.  Local journalists tell ABC News heavy gunfire has already broken out in Sana'a that morning.

Saleh has been clinging to his 33-year rule since January, in the face of violent protests in the gulf’s poorest nation.  Approximately 400 protesters have reportedly been killed since January.  Fifteen people were killed on Thursday and as of 2 a.m. on Friday ET, one person has been killed.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Aug222011

PHOTO: In 2010, No Sign of Arab Revolts to Come

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, center, leans on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right, and Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh as they pose for a group photo with African presidents at the Afro-Arab Joint Summit in the Libyan coastal city of Sirte, Oct. 10, 2010. Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- What a difference ten months makes.

In this photo taken on Oct. 10, 2010, Moammar Gadhafi, Hosni Mubarak, and the presidents of Tunisia and Yemen smile for the cameras in the front row of the Afro-Arab Joint Summit meeting in Sirte, Libya.

Less than a year later, two of the long-time leaders have been pushed from power, one has agreed to cede power after surviving an assassination attempt, and the other seems to be just days or hours from the end of his reign.

Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, on the left in the blue suit with his hands clasped, was the first leader to fall. The revolution that began when Mohamed Bouazizi, a disgruntled jobseeker, burned himself to death in December, led to Ben Ali's ouster on January 14, and sparked the wave of revolts that have swept Arab countries ever since. Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia after 23 years in power.

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, on the far right in the dark suit with his fingers entwined, resigned on February 11 after a popular revolt powered by social media that lasted nearly three weeks. Mubarak ruled for 30 years, but at age 81 is now being tried on charges of corruption and allegedly ordering the killing of protestors. He has appeared in court on a gurney and in a cage.

Yemen's Ali Abdullah Saleh, with a gray moustache to Ben Ali's left, agreed to step down on April 23 after massive street protests. He had ruled for 33 years. He said he planned to hand over power, but then refused to sign an agreement ceding power. He barely survived an RPG attack on the presidential compound on June 3. The next day he was evacuated to a military hospital in Saudi Arabia and a vice president became acting president of Yemen.

In July, Saleh appeared on television, bandaged and burned, to say he welcomed power sharing. He has pledged to hold elections, but not before 2013.

Moammar Gadhafi, instantly recognizable by his distinctive robes, and with his arms draped around Mubarak and Saleh, had the longest run of any of the leaders, taking power in a bloodless coup in 1969 before he had turned 30. Street protests that began in February, however, turned into full-scale civil war, and after a seesaw battle lasting six months, and after intervention on the side of the rebels by NATO, Gadhafi was said to be surrounded in Tripoli on August 22.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Aug172011

Yemeni President Saleh Appears on TV, Vows to Return

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh addresses an emergency session of parliament and the consultative council in the capital Sanaa on Feb. 2, 2011 where he announced the he will freeze constitutional changes that would allow him to be president for life and put off a controversial April poll. Photo by GAMAL NOMAN/AFP/Getty Images(SANAA, Yemen) -- President Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed Tuesday to return to Yemen soon from Saudi Arabia, where he's been recuperating from wounds he suffered in an attack on his palace compound.

In a televised address, he told his chanting supporters, "See you soon."

Yemen is reeling from six months of mass street protests calling for Saleh's ouster, which would end his 33-year rule. There are fears that his return could spark a civil war.

Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are pushing for a power-transfer deal that would offer Saleh immunity from prosecution if he steps down. Saleh did not mention this deal in his address.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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