Outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh apologized for “any shortcoming” in his 33-year rule before leaving Yemen for the United States on Sunday, paving the way for a transfer of power after a year of unrest.
“God willing, I will leave for (medical) treatment in the United States and I will return to Sanaa as head of the General People’s Congress party,” Saleh told senior party and government officials in a televised speech.
The U.S. State Department confirmed it had given him a visa.
“The sole purpose of this travel is for medical treatment and we expect that he will stay for a limited time that corresponds to the duration of this treatment,” it said.
As we noted here,Yemen: No committment to anti-terrorism ops with U.S., Saleh would not commit to helping the U.S. with counterterrorism and he freed al Qaeda terrorists:
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently struck a deal with Ayman Zawahiri, and Yemen is in the process of emptying its jails of known jihadists. The Yemeni government is recruiting these established jihadists to attack its domestic enemies as it refrains from serious counter-terror measures against the newly formed Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The tripartite relationship between the Yemeni regime and al Qaeda enables all participants to further their goals at the expense of national, regional, and global security.
Was the visa and medical treatment part of the deal to step down? And just how long will this tyrant end up staying in the U.S. courtesy of Obama and Clinton?