Outgoing Yemen president heads to US for medical treatment

Outgoing Yemen president heads to US for medical treatment

 Yemen's outgoing president Ali Abdullah Saleh has left the country for medical treatment in the US, the president's press secretary said.

Saleh left the Sana'a international airport Sunday for the US via Oman, Ahmed al-Soufi told Xinhua.

"The plane of president Saleh and his delegation took off from Sana'a international airport on Sunday evening, heading to Oman where he will stay for a few days before he leaves for the United States," al-Soufi said.

He, however, did not say what was the reason behind Saleh's stopover in Oman. But he said the outgoing president is expected to arrive in New York by Wednesday.

On Sunday, Saleh who has ruled for around 33 years delivered a live speech on state television, saying he will travel to the US for medical treatment and return to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the next president, his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
"I ask for forgiveness from the people for my mistakes," he said.

Saleh's trip comes a day after the parliament passed a law granting him complete immunity and protecting his aides from prosecution as part of a power transfer deal signed by the president and the opposition in Saudi Arabia in November 2011