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Yemen: President Saleh to visit US

Yemen's President Saleh is planning to visit the US.

Yemen President Saleh US  Enlarge
A Yemeni supporter of President Ali Abdullah Saleh wears and carries portraits of the embattled leader during a pro-regime rally on Dec. 2, 2011. (Mohammed Huwais/AFP/Getty Images)

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is planning a trip to the United States, according to a party spokesman, CNN reported.

Saleh's statement comes hours after his forces killed nine people who were protesting killings during Saleh's regime, the Guardian reported.

Saleh, who agreed to step down last month in a deal brokered by Gulf states who feared that civil war in Yemen will affect them, has yet to give a specific date and has promised that he will continue to play a political role in Yemen's future.

However, Saleh maintains that he has no desire to stay in power.

"I wil go to the United States. Not for treatment, because I'm fine, but to get away from attention, cameras, and allow the unity goernment to prepare properly for elections," said Saleh's spokesman, the Guardian reported.

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"I'l 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," he said.

According to CNN, though Saleh may be seeking medical treatment in the US, no visa has been issued, a State Department official said.

Protesters in Yemen have denounced the deal that Saleh signed last month, which gives him immunity from prosecution in exchange for him stepping down. Youth demonstrators in Yemen, however, are bitter about the plan, which was crafted by the Gulf Cooperation council, and demand that Saleh face trial.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/111224/yemen-president-saleh-visit-us