Saleh departs US after medical visit
Washington, February 24, 2012
Yemen's outgoing president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had medical treatment in the US, left the country on Thursday after an uncontested election transferred power to his deputy.
A Yemeni official confirmed Saleh had left the US, but gave no information about his destination.
Saleh arrived in the US in January to receive treatment for wounds inflicted during an assassination attempt last year.
He has repeatedly voiced plans to return to Yemen, where his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is taking over as president following an election on Tuesday that formally ended Saleh's 33-year rule.
Saleh, 69, had been a longtime US ally, but Washington eventually backed a deal brokered by the GCC to speed his exit, making him the fourth veteran Arab leader unseated by "Arab Spring" uprisings.
The US and oil giant Saudi Arabia fear unrest in the impoverished country, which faces a range of security challenges and is the operational base for the regional wing of Al Qaeda. - Reuters