Yemen president to be treated in New York: UN

UNITED NATIONS — Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh will seek medical treatment in New York after signing a deal which effectively ended his 33-year rule, UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday.

By (AFP)

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Published: Thu 24 Nov 2011, 9:08 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 2:43 AM

“He told me clearly that he will hand over all powers,” Ban told reporters at the UN headquarters as Saleh signed an exit deal in the Saudi capital.

“He told me that he would come to New York after signing the agreement to have medical treatment,” Ban added, giving details of a telephone conversation on Tuesday.

Saleh has already been treated in Saudi Arabia for wounds sustained in an attack on his palace on June 3, but it was not known why the 69-year-old president would consult doctors in the United States.

“If he comes to New York I will be happy to meet him,” the UN secretary general added, saying he was “encouraged by the positive development of the situation in Yemen.”

The UN Security Council is to discuss Monday and UN envoy Jamal Benomar will brief the 15 members on the latest events in Yemen, where protests have continued demanding that Saleh face trial.

Ban said that he had telephoned Saleh and “strongly urged” the president, who has been the target of opposition protests since January, to sign the exit plan brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Ban said the controversial question of immunity from prosecution promised by the GCC was not discussed.

Under the GCC plan, Saleh will remain honorary president for 90 days after handing over his powers to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi to organize an interim government and elections.

After months of delays, Saleh signed the GCC deal with other Yemeni figures in Riyadh on Wednesday.

Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky later released a statement welcoming the signature, praising the GCC’s role and acknowledging Saleh’s move “to enable the transition process to begin.”

Highlighting the “great suffering and hardship” endured by Yemenis, Ban called on “all sides to honor their commitments made in the agreement in good faith.”

He said there should be an immediate halt to “all violent acts” and “provocations” and common moves towards a fully inclusive transition. “This will be essential for restoring peace and stability and promoting recovery,” Ban said in the statement.

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