Saleh to come to New York for medical treatment

Ban spoke with Saleh yesterday, before he inked a deal to hand over his powers to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, and assured the Yemeni leader that the UN "will spare no effort" to mobilise the necessary resources and support to ensure that stability and democratic order is restored in Yemen.

Speaking to reporters here, Ban said Saleh told him that "he will come to New York to take medical treatment immediately after signing this agreement... So if he comes to New York, I will be happy to meet him."

The deal, brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council, allows Saleh to retain the title of president for three months and gives him immunity from prosecution.

Ban had earlier said he was "encouraged" by the positive development of the situation in Yemen and the work that the UN and the GCC had done.

He said through his Special Envoy in Yemen Jamal Benomar the United Nations would continue to monitor and help the full implementation of the agreement.

"I told him (Saleh) that he could count on the United Nations," he said.

Saleh became the fourth leader forced to give up power after months of pro-democracy protests in the Middle East and North African region.

Before him the decades-long and tyrannical regimes of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak and Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have been toppled in the Arab Spring movement.

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