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Yemen: Saleh 'chose Abu Dhabi for exile

last update: December 28, 15:55

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Sanaa, 28 Dec. (AKI) - Yemen's president Ali Abdullah Saleh has chosen Abu Dhabi as his place of exile, according to Yemeni weekly al-Wasat.

Saleh will go into exile in the United Arab Emirates' capital and second-largest city after he recovers from medical treatment in the United States.

The United States said it agreed in principle to grant Saleh a visa so he can be treated at at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital for problems stemming from wounds he suffered during a bomb attack on the Presidential Palace mosque in Sanaa.

Saleh would go into exile with 50 other people, including his wife, children and their spouses, and grandchildren, according to the report.

The embattled leader of Yemen for around 30 years has agreed to transfer power in exchange for immunity from prosecution for any possible role he played in the killing of anti-government protesters. Critics of the deal say he should stand trial.

In announcing his intention to travel to the US, Saleh referred to the trip as ''temporary exile.

"I will go to the United States. Not for treatment, because I'm fine, but to get away from attention, cameras, and allow the unity government to prepare properly for elections," reports quoted him as saying.

"I'll be there for several days, but I'll return because I won't leave my people and comrades who have been steadfast for 11 months," Saleh said, hours after fresh reports of fatalities at the hands of Yemeni security forces.

Saleh in November handed power to vice-president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi Hadi after signing a Gulf Co-operation Council-brokered agreement that gave him immunity.

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